“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”
How wonderful to be steadfast in Christ the Lord…
This is the ideal state to be in as we walk with the Lord. To walk with Him steadily and strongly every day without wavering and not falling back, loosing our footing and stumbling around – no falling into sin and succumbing to temptations. To walk worthily with the Lord and please Him every day is our goal. We are not yet made perfect, but we are steadfast.
“…the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
It is possible to live a godly life in this world and to please the Lord in all we say and do. It involves the testing of our faith, and that severely, as James points out in his book. But the striving to overcome and the battles against the flesh, the world and the devil, only serve to make us complete.
Paul the Apostle sees these qualities in the Christians at Colosse and identifies with them in the Spirit. He cannot be with them in the body, as he is in prison, but his soul goes out to them, in love and fellowship, and hence the letter. Paul rejoices with them as they rejoice in Christ.
“Don’t be grieved; for the joy of The LORD is your strength.”
This is what sets the Christians apart from the one who does not believe. We should be the happiest people on earth, as we are children in the family of God, have a royal inheritance with the saints of God, and know Christ as our loving and constant companion. There is no fretting or worry or wrong motivations in this state of living. All is peace with God and nothing harms us or disturbs our rest. Life is orderly and settled and full of hope and faithful acts of grace and mercy. We rejoice in the Lord always.
All this is bound up with the closeness of our relationship with our Saviour. Our deep sense of gratitude to Him and the devotion of love is ever on our minds and hearts and lips. We love Him because He loved us first and gave Himself for us. We keep our repentance to the forefront of our thinking and have short accounts with the Lord. We go wrong and put it right straight away. Therefore we are joyful and free people, free to be righteous and kind. Though we may be separated from other believers, we are joined in heart and soul and can commune together in the bond of peace in the Spirit. We encourage each other in the Lord and wait for the great day when Christ will be revealed and our steadfastness will give way to eternal perfection.