Have you noticed that the Christian life continues the same way it begins – through faith? The apostle Paul gives us three practical ways to keep us moving forward and growing in our walk with Jesus. Abiding in Him, being strengthened through faith, and overflowing with thankfulness.
We are to remain in the Lord in order to be rooted and built up in Christ. Imagine a large oak tree that is able to withstand the wind, rain (the storms of life) and even seasons of drought! It flourishes no matter what life throws at it because of its strong root system. Think of faith like a muscle that needs to be constantly exercised. Allowing it to grow strong, get in shape and be ready to withstand anything and everything. Often times God uses times of adversity, or those who rub us the wrong way and cause friction to strengthen our faith.
In keeping with our tree analogy, gratitude is the branches and fruit; the natural and visible part of the tree. These show the health of the tree, and when dead branches are trimmed it benefits the life of the tree. In the same way, a believer’s life without thanksgiving and gratitude can damage the spiritual health of the believer, and a life that overflows with gratitude flourishes.
Colossians 2:6-7 is a beautiful picture of the redeemed life; rooted, secure, strong, mature, and continually bringing glory to God through a life of gratitude.