The Prayer Series // Hope Blooms

"We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News." (Colossians 1:3-5)

When I fell in love with my wife I was touring the country in a van playing music and she was finishing graduate school. We longed to be together. What's more we longed for the day when we'd consummate our relationship on our wedding day.

We lived in anticipation, and that longing fueled our love and painted each day with beauty and hope.

Hope fuels our faith and our love. Or at least it should. It did so for the Christians

in Colossae. Paul loved hearing about their faithful, loving testimony. This kind of living was fueled by an anticipatory lifestyle—of a people looking toward heaven. That was their hope, the hope of future glory.

What does it look like to live in anticipation of the coming glory of Christ? How would such a longing affect our lifestyle, our choices, our consumption, our priorities?

Is eternity simmering in your heart?

Later on in the letter Paul reminds the Colossae Christians to keep Christ central in all they do: "… that in everything he might be preeminent." (1:18) For Christ to remain preeminent in our lives means he rules as chief over everything. It means he holds the first rank of highest dignity.

This verse resounds in my heart because too often I leave Christ out of my decisions and my everyday living. Pride chokes out the Light of Christ far too often.

And yet daily I press into Him and ask for the courage to obey, for strength to decrease so that he can increase. And when I find myself in that beautiful place where Christ holds the first rank of highest dignity, I find myself pining for heaven and all the glory of God therewith.

Today your assignment is to read Revelation 4-5. In these chapters John steps into heaven and observes a worship service unlike any other. The writing is glorious and will ignite a hope of heaven and awaken the eternity within you.

This passage will draw you toward Christ, the Slain Lamb of God. You will throw up your hands in praise as you sense the Holy Spirit strengthen your faith and galvanize your love.

"“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered …" (Revelation 5:5a)

Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.