Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. You learned the gospel from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave – a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf – who also told us of your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1.5-8
With what do you identify? When you analyze your thoughts and emotions, what do you find? Do you find that your faith and love have risen? Do you find that you are at the end of a dark tunnel where you see no light at the end? Do you find that you are just maintaining the status quo?
For the Christian, the realization that this world is not our home makes a huge difference. Our hope is in heaven. The gospel that is the message of truth brings us this hope making it possible for our faith and love to grow. Just as Epaphras taught the gospel to the Colossians, we should be teaching and sharing the gospel with all who will listen. This message brings hope to a world that has very little. It is a message that is not stagnant, but living and growing. Just as a seed that is planted sprouts, grows, and bears fruit, the gospel brings about growth in the lives of those who embrace its truth.
There is one other thing about this growth that is important. The gospel must be shared and taught to bring about this growth. The growth is not only for the one being taught, but occurs in the life of the one who is doing the teaching the world over. Are you teaching others about the hope that you have? Do you feel that you have stagnated in your faith? Perhaps you need to start spreading the good news.