I am an avid sports fan. I often record the games of my favourite teams so I can watch them later. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I find out the result beforehand. Even when I know my team wins, I can still become nervous during the game – old habits die hard – but keep reminding myself: “Remember, we win. You know how this ends, Jim, so don’t get discouraged.”
What Paul is saying in Colossians 3:4 is the same truth while watching my tape-delayed baseball game: “Remember – we win.” Or as he puts it, “When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” He wants us to think about that glorious final day and to know – to know with certainty and not merely wish for – how it all ends.
There is a word for this certainty in a good future: hope. Hope is not wishful thinking: it is being certain the future is bright.
Hope gives us confidence. Hope gives us assurance. Hope enables us to trust, to have faith in the present moment, no matter how bleak. Hope gives us peace in the midst of strife. Hope brings us joy in times of sadness. As long as we have hope we will never give up.
Only the reality of the resurrection, and its final consummation in Christ’s return, can bring us the confidence, assurance, trust, faith, hope, peace and joy that will make our lives magnificent, the kind of life we were made to live.
This fact about the future makes an enormous difference in the present, because in the present we experience setbacks, losses, dark valleys and disappointments, and they can overwhelm us. So we must remind ourselves each day that we win. It makes all the difference. There is nothing we will face today that will not be overcome in the final victory of Jesus.
No matter what life brings me today, I know how it ends, and who wins. Therefore I walk in complete confidence, without any fear.
Gracious Abba, thank you for securing our final victory and for the certainty that we will be revealed with you in glory. Our world is full of much pain and suffering, and it makes our souls weary. But knowing that you get the last word and that all will be well gives us energy and courage. Thank you. Amen.
Think of a time, or several times, in your life when a situation looked bleak, but in the end things worked out. Describe what happened and how it affected you.
How can knowing that in the end we will be with Jesus in glory affect how you live the days of your life until then?