The Ups and Downs of Colossians

Dave Gifford

READ : Colossians 1:3-6

. . . because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. (v. 5)

For the next few days we will look at Colossians. I’m hoping that my perspective as a missionary in Mexico City will help you see this letter in a new way.

One recurring feature of Colossians is its “vertical” language. Paul talks about heaven and earth, things above and things below, and Christ being seated over all things. But verse 5 gives us a hint that the contrast isn’t really so much about “ups” and “downs” as it is about the present and the future. It’s not so much that our hope is up in heaven and we need to escape our terrible world to get up there and enjoy it. It’s that our hope is up in heaven and soon Jesus will bring it with him when he comes, so we should have faith and love now as we wait for its glorious arrival.

Christian teaching about the future isn’t meant to produce speculation, escapism, or dread. It is meant to produce concrete, tangible acts of faith and love. Looking upward and forward recharges our batteries for powerful living—down here and right now. May you be energized in this way today as you contemplate what’s stored up for you!


Lord, help me to live for heaven, down here and right now.