By Jessica Van Roekel, Crosswalk.com
The Gospel Transforms Lives through Faith, Hope, and Love
By Jessica Van Roekel
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” - Colossians 1:4-6 ESV
Good news is satisfying but sometimes hard to find. The phone rings late at night, and our heart stops. The morning headlines paint the world as a dark place. The evening news fills our dreams with dread as we hope for a good night’s sleep. But there’s nothing more satisfying in difficult circumstances than good news. A cheerful report about the people we care about shines bright on an otherwise dreary day. Such was the case for Paul, the Apostle. While imprisoned in Rome, he received news of a congregation in Colossae that caused him to rejoice. This church resulted from Epaphras’ conversion to Christianity when Paul preached to the Ephesians. The Colossian's response to the gospel changed lives as people came to faith in Christ Jesus.
There’s nothing more encouraging for someone in ministry to witness or hear about a person who encounters the Gospel of Jesus Christ and whose life changes. The world is hard, with many barriers to growing up in Christ. Distractions abound, and the pull of the old way of living is strong. We can learn from the believers in the Colossians church and their emphasis on faith, hope, and love. Biblical faith involves a commitment to God and an expression of trust in him. Faith goes beyond what we know and understand. It is, as Hebrews 11:1 states, the assurance of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. Faith is a loyalty to God that withstands the brunt of any bad news we may face. It takes God at his word, which means if God says he will not forsake us, we can trust him to keep his word. Faith in God finds its hope in spiritual realities, not the circumstances we see.
Love for other believers in Christ is a central Christian virtue. 1 Corinthians 13 guides us in the type of love God wants to develop in us. It’s the kind of love that doesn’t keep records of wrongdoing, it doesn’t harbor envy, and it doesn’t insist on its way. One of the ways the gospel transforms us is through this kind of love. It is non-negotiable evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Patience, kindness, and deference to each other in the name of Jesus reveal how much God has changed our lives.
Hope is foundational to faith and love. It is more than a wish. It is a confident expectation rooted in God’s character, provision, and promise. We are guaranteed eternity in his presence. This kind of hope helps us look beyond our discouraging situations to the hope we have in him. In Romans 8:18, Paul writes, “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” As we hold fast to hope, faith, and love, we allow God’s glory to be revealed through us. And as his glory shines bright, we are transformed, and the world can see the difference the gospel makes.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Our Sunday services encourage us to live a life that honors God. We receive insight and encouragement to keep walking in faith, growing in love, and clinging to hope. If your circumstances overwhelm you and you feel your faith shaking, remember that loyalty to God is an expression of faith. God does not turn his back on you. When you keep your commitment toward him to develop hope, faith, and love, he will carry you through and transform your life.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Takako Watanabe
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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