Most of the time, it's pretty hard to see God at work. I look around and see heartache and pain. In my own life, I get wrapped up in my to-do list and am so easily overwhelmed. I know I should thank Him for all that He's done, but some days it's really hard to see His movement.
Colossians is a letter from Paul to the church in Colossae – a vibrant church full of life. Paul's intro is a sweet sentiment, telling the people that he's been constantly giving thanks to God for their love and faith. These people have been such an encouragement to him as he's heard stories of the way they love one another. He tells them that the great love that they have is birthed out of the hope they've received in the Gospel. The Savior has come; no longer do they fear death. They've been adopted as God's children; Christ has made a way for them to have access to God's divine fatherhood. The Holy Spirit has come to them, giving them confidence and filling them with grace. The Gospel is a powerful force.
I look on my life as a Christian and see a lot of potholes. I was baptized in junior high, and since then, I've done a pretty good job of failing on a regular basis. I read in the Scripture that God is constantly refining me, but some days I feel just as weak as I did when I was a freshman in high school. I have memories that lurk in the back of my mind of conversations where I said something hurtful and missed opportunities to love someone well. But God.
Paul points out something so soothing to my soul – that since the day I first heard the Gospel, it has been bearing fruit in my life. Even on the days when I feel like I've taken three steps back, those three steps are the work of the Gospel refining me. Even more comforting is that "the Gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world." Can you believe that right now? Just looking back at the past few weeks, I see policemen killed as they sat in their cars, Australian people held hostage in a chocolate store, a rural plane crash with a tiny seven-year-old survivor, and magazine staff shot and killed in Paris. And that's just a small list. But God.
Even on my darkest days – on our darkest days – I can trust that my God is at work. He is ruling and reigning, and He will have the last say. His return hasn't come yet because He's still leading people into Him (2 Peter 3:9). God is at work in us, transforming us into His image "from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18). The fruit of his work is growing one degree at a time, so don't worry if you don't notice it right away :) Sometimes we need a reminder of why we can give praise, love freely, extend grace. Sewing this verse into my heart this week. Join me?
Each week, I create an iPhone background with a verse and share it here on TPA. Having God's Word in front of me several times a day helps me in so many ways – it soothes my heart and mind with truth, strengthens my faith, and helps me memorize Scripture so that I can accurately share it with others. Feel free to download the image for your own phone (and pin it and share it, too!) as many times as you'd like.