The Definition of a Believer's Life

“For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven…”
Colossians 1:4-5 (NLT)
The Gospel has produced something that is not uncommon among believers – faith, love, and hope.  In fact, dare I say that anyone would truly be a believer if they did not have these three characteristics in their lives?  A true and genuine response to receiving the Good News of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, surrendering their life to God, and receiving the promise of eternal life will produce faith, love, and hope.
What is the difference between these three small words you might ask?  Well to put it into simple terms: 1) faith looks backward, 2) love looks to the present, and 3) hope looks to the future.
1) Faith looks to backward to the cross of Jesus Christ.  The place where He died in the sinner’s place for the remission of sins for all who put their trust in Him.  Have you trusted in Him for the forgiveness of your sins?  Believe in Jesus and you will be set free from sin’s bondage, shame, and ugliness.  Faith, if you will, are the hands that take hold of the gift of forgiveness and so much more that God through Jesus has provided for us.

2) Love looks presently to those around us in how we can show them kindness.  Sure, many of us would be so noble to physically die in another person’s place if need be, but how many of us would be inconvenienced by helping transport a person in need, sacrifice our time to teach a Sunday school class, or provide a meal for a family who has lost a loved one?  Jesus said that the world would know His disciples by the way they loved one another.  Dear reader, do you let the love God flow through you by looking for ways (that are often inconvenient) to show kindness to your fellow man?  You can’t give what you don’t have.  Make sure you have the love of God in you and then you will be able to show the love of God through you.

3) Hope looks to the future glory of being with God for all eternity.  How can a Christian valiantly suffer hardships with joy?  How can the believer laugh in the face of death?  How can a follower of Jesus overcome discouragement or depression?  Because they know what lies ahead of them is far better than what lies behind them or right before them.  Romans 8 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death.  Revelation says that there will come a day when God’s people will dwell with Him forever in a place of righteousness, free from evil, with no more pain or suffering.  Do you have this hope?  It can only be found in Jesus.  There is none like it.
Dear believer, may you keep these truths close to your heart – faith, love, and hope.  May they define your life and may your life be a living sacrifice and praise to the God of heaven.
Anchored in Christ,
Aaron R. Force
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