Main point summary
We thank God in our prayers that you (the Colossian church) are strong in the faith because of your assurance of eternal life, which you heard of when the Gospel was preached to you.
f We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We always, without fail, thank God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you,
when we pray for you
since we heard of g your faith in Christ Jesus
because we have heard that you are strong in the faith
and of g the love that you have for all the saints,
and that you have love for all those who have been saved through Christ,
because of h the hope i laid up for you in heaven.
and we have heard that you do these things because you have assurance of your final reward in heaven.
Of this you have heard before
Of these things (faith, love, and hope), you already know,
in j the word of the truth, the gospel,
having been told of them in the Gospel of Christ,
which has come to you,
which has made part of God's kingdom,
as indeed k in the whole world it is l bearing fruit and increasing—
which is bearing fruit across the known world and increasing;
as it also does among you, since the day you m heard it
and which increases and bears fruit in you, having done so since the time you heard it
and understood n the grace of God in truth,
and understood God's glorious saving grace,
just as you learned it from o Epaphras our beloved p fellow servant. 1
which you have heard from Epaphras, our fellow servant of Christ,
He is p a faithful minister of Christ on your 2 behalf
who faithfully ministers to you in Christ's name
and has made known to us your q love in the Spirit.
and tells us of your love for each other in the Spirit.
This is how Paul has heard of the faith, love, and hope (4a-5a) of the church in Colossae. Epaphras has told him!
This is not a wishy-washy "I hope something good will happen" hope. It is a strong certainty that what was promised will take place! Furthermore, the following words lay out for us which hope is being spoken of. It is the hope laid up for us in heaven, namely the hope of eternal life, which has been given to us through Christ's death and resurrection!
Paul and Timothy are joyful, because they know that God has truly saved the Colossians; and they know this because of the fruit that is shown in the lives of the Colossian church.
Notice that they (Paul an Timothy) thank God WHEN they pray. When, not if. Hearing the Gospel isn't enough. In order to be saved, we must understand it. The Gospel is increasing! It is not stagnating in small towns like most believed it would when Christ died. On the contrary, it is flourishing!