Today’s Reading: Colossians 2:1-5
Let’s go back to where we ended yesterday in Colossians, chapter 1 to give us context for what Paul writes in chapter 2. It is in God’s presence that He makes known the glorious riches of this mystery, that Christ lives in YOU! It is our union with Christ, our intimate walk that gives us hope – hope for us and for those watching us. So the secret of the mystery is to allow God to bring us into His presence and then remain there, allowing God to fill us so that He can work through us. It is in the “remaining” that we continue in our faith and produce a life that is worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way. Colossians 2 continues with this same thought.
“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown that mystery!” – 2:2-3 (The Message)
The New Living Translation says it a different way: I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. – Colossians 2:2-3
Paul wanted his readers to understand God’s ways, His plan. In order for this to happen, he knew they needed to understand Christ Himself because it is in Christ where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge exist. By getting to know Christ, the mysteries of God are unlocked and revealed. It is through Christ that we have a relationship with God Himself.
There are going to be times in our lives where we struggle to wrap our minds around the “whys” of life. There are going to be times when understanding God’s plan in the midst of our circumstances is a struggle. It is in those moments that we need to draw closer to Christ instead of pulling away in reaction to our hurt or confusion. It is at those times that we need the wisdom and knowledge that are found in Christ. We may not understand God’s plan but, when we have a relationship with God, we can trust His supremacy in any and every situation.
It is our relationship with God that prepares us for the struggle ahead. Pastor Ed Heck wrote about this in his blog while dealing with the pain of his cancer:
“The faith [Job] had at the time he first encountered suffering determined how his faith would be able to grow during the suffering. What we see in his story is a faith equal to the test it faced. I admire this in Job.
“In my own journey I’m discovering that faith does not necessarily grow in a smooth path or along a straight line. Elliot Wright traces the biographies of 80 people whom history has identified as ‘saints’ in his book The Holy Company. In his study he discovered that this diverse company of peculiar people had only one thing in common: an insatiable thirst for God which kept them ‘hobbling’ toward holiness.
“That’s me! I can’t deny it. I am living the ‘yo-yo’ of highs and lows that can be spiritually confusing, emotionally exhausting, and exhilarating all at the same time. Faith not only grows on faith; it grows in the struggle for a deeper, maturing, more abiding faith!
“Where do we find hope in the midst of a struggle like this? For me, it’s a simply profound determination to trust God! Today, I choose to trust in God’s justice, His mercy, His grace, the promises found in His Word, His people, and His redeeming love! These are the landmarks that rise like mountain peaks, projecting through the dense fog of the valley below where suffering keeps me. For me, the sinking ceases as I take on the new strength which allows me to focus on the faithfulness of God!
“If Job’s example tells us anything, it tells us that out of the greatest struggles within the contradictions of human existence, faith makes its greatest gains.” – Rev. Ed Heck, https://shardsofgraceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/focus-on-the-faithfulness-of-god/
Sometimes life takes a turn we are not anticipating and it is difficult to get our head to stop spinning. We are forced to explain something that simply cannot be put into words. We rest in the fact that we gave our lives to God a long time ago, surrendering to His sovereignty and committing that we are willing to go anywhere He wants us to go and do anything He wants us to do.
Understanding God’s plan is sometimes a mystery but it is encouraging to be reminded this morning that in seeking to understand the mystery there is treasure to be found – treasures of wisdom and knowledge, confidence and rest.
Perhaps where you are at this morning requires the kind of faith that Pastor Heck wrote about. My prayer for you this morning is that you will be encouraged and knit together by the strong ties of the love of Jesus. I pray God gives you complete confidence that He has a plan, even if that plan is just out of reach of your understanding this morning. I pray that you will draw closer to God today, trusting He will provide and protect you through your current circumstances.
Lord, we enter your presence with confidence that you will lavish gifts of wisdom and understanding on all of us as we seek YOUR will for our lives and as we surrender to YOUR sovereignty and trust in YOUR provision. Help us grow in our knowledge of Christ and grow in our relationship with you. May our love for you and our understanding of your love for us give us the strength to rest in you today – to simply enter into your presence and remain there. Amen.