“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”
Throughout your life, you will hear from many different people that in order to keep going you need to know your “why.” Whether you’re doing further education, physical training, dieting, etc…Coaches/teachers will tell you in order to get through the hard times you need to be able to remind yourself of your “why” and that will help push you forward to the end.
In many ways, they are not wrong. When we are working towards something and we have a goal bigger than ourselves it can give us inspiration or hope to carry on.
Colossians 1:5 is essentially the “why” behind verse 4. Paul starts the letter by saying who it’s written to and that he and Timothy have been giving thanks and praying for them “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.” Verse 5 follows, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”
Paul is saying the reason for their faith and love is because of their hope in heaven.
I was looking at other translations and appreciated how the NIV worded it, “the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven.” The hope in heaven was the church of Colossae’s “why.” Their faith and love was inspired by this hope; propelled by it. The same should be true for us modern-day Christians.
The question is, what is this hope that’s laid up for us in heaven? The end of the verse says it’s what we’ve heard before in the truth of the gospel, so let’s go back to the gospel.
John 3:15-16 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.“
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God has given us the gift of eternal life! He has given us a hope beyond this physical life on earth, a future. He has given us salvation; freedom from sin and death. He has given us Himself.
At times, this prospect was not always exciting to me, but that’s because I didn’t know God very well and why would I want to spend eternity with someone I didn’t know very well? The more I get to know Him, the more I truly desire to be with Him, because He is so good and beyond worthy to be worshipped.
Meditating on this verse has reminded me how often I just need to step back and get perspective on why I’m doing what I’m doing. Am I living for myself? Am I living for what this world can offer? Or am I living with this hope of heaven in mind? Am I living for eternity? We are told in Matthew to not lay up treasures on earth because it won’t last, but rather to lay up our treasures in heaven where it will last forever. Our hope is not in this world. Our hope is in heaven. Our hope is in Christ.
Where does your hope come from? Are you living in light of eternity?