Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.
–Hebrews 11:1 NET
God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
–Colossians 1:27 NET (emphasis added)
As a teen and young adult, I loved walking into a Christian bookstore. Having lots of books to choose from was exciting. But truth be told, I also loved the bookstore because I felt like it would supply something that was missing in my faith. I would skim the shelves for books, both new and old, looking for the one that would give me the secret I needed to better handle my hidden struggles and deepen my walk with God.
I was madly searching for something that did not exist. There was no “secret information” that would fix me. Of course, God is merciful. He used two books by Larry Crabb, Inside Out and The Pressure’s Off, along with the wise counsel of some godly mentors to point me in the right direction. I was shocked to realize I was looking for living water in empty, leaky buckets rather than from God who is the giver of life (Jeremiah 2:13). I was looking for my own solutions and directions rather than simply looking to God and all that He has already placed within me and at my disposal (2 Peter 1:3).
To be sure, this simple faith—the kind where we simply look to God for what we need—was always there in Scripture. As the authors of Hebrews and Colossians make clear, faith is being sure of what I hoped for—which is really a person, Christ in me, the hope of glory. Once I grasped that truth, Colossians 1:27 became my north star. When I struggle—and like all of us, I still do—I no longer so desperately scan Amazon Prime or go to my local Christian bookstore. Instead, in simplicity and confidence, I turn to a person, Jesus Christ, for what I need.
While I often take longer to get there than I should, my faith is not as complicated as I once made it. I now rest in the simple fact that what was once a mystery—that Christ indwells us—is, in fact, my reality. This means my faith is not based on knowing some “secret” information. Rather, my faith is solely placed in the God of the universe who created everything and holds it all together with His power. I read God’s Word not to “fix me” but to come to the One who is transforming me from the inside out to fully be in His image (John 5:39-40; 20:31).
My hope of glory is therefore not in myself, but in the God who is with me and for me and in me! You can’t get much simpler—yet profoundly and amazingly deeper—than that!
ACTION: Slowly read the first chapter of Colossians. Take time to meditate on who Jesus is in all His glory, and what it means that “Christ is in you, the hope of glory.” What does this move you toward? Praise? Questions? To share this simple faith with others? Write down what comes to mind, noting anything that God is asking you to do in response.