“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…
“I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea.., that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of… Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. I am… rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 1:21-23; 2:1-8
Reconciled by Jesus to be holy and blameless, we have no reason to shift from the efficacy and certain hope of the gospel. It is by this gospel that our Savior made enemies friends and hostile strangers His children. And by this gospel we stand. His work is finished, His word an unshakable foundation. (Romans 5:10; Colossians 2:13-15)
Plausible arguments and sinister, vain deceit will brew and bubble around us, but they need not jostle our convictions. A Christian’s hope is secure. Tragedy and suffering can also crash into us and knock the wind from us, engulfing as a pall of pain, senselessness, and bereft confusion over the way forward. But God is not surprised in these horrors- He is compassionate and a very present help. Steadfastly grounded in His promises, our eternal hope will not shift. Though doubts assail, His goodness and sovereignty prevail. (Psalm 46:1-3; John 11:33-35)
Where am I prone to shift in my resolve to trust and follow Jesus? What circumstances jar my faith and cause me to grasp at worldly remedies? Where have I believed the lie that God is not involved or does not care?
Would I take encouragement from Christ’s finished work on the Cross, and thank Him for the riches won for me? When tempted to despair at weakness, failures, or indescribable pain, would I hold tight to Him, and the wisdom, knowledge, and faith He gives? He who saves also secures and keeps us to our sanctified end.
“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, his covenant, his blood,
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.” ~Edwards Mote (1834)
Lord, help me daily continue in faith, firm in hope of the gospel, unmoved by the wicked wounding world.