Finding endurance, finding patience
We’ve all had times when we’re weary. We tell ourselves that we just need a little recharge – whether it’s good food, or additional sleep, or some relaxation time. Those things are good, and it is necessary build-in good eating, sleeping, and resting habits into our lives…but if we’re going to live life the way God intended us to, we’re going to need more than just a good night’s rest.
In the first chapter of his letter to the believers in Colossae, Paul continues spell out what he’s praying for them. He specifically details three things that he is persistently asking God for on their behalf. The first one was that God would fill them with the knowledge of His will (1:9). The second request is one that we’re familiar with asking for ourselves…to be strengthened by God. However, Paul also has a specific application as to where he wants the Colossians to use this gift from God:
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience
The believers are to receive strength, they are to be empowered, by a God-sized dose of His glorious might. Paul is not looking for a “little boost” to get them through. This strength won’t be found in us, or drummed up from within…Paul is asking that God would super-naturally strengthen them by sharing His great power, the same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead.
This is no small request!
Large requests, however, must be made with an intentional aim. We would not walk up to our boss and ask for authority or control “just because”; no, we know better than to make that request without having a plan for how to use the resources we are asking for.
Paul’s desire is that with God’s power, the Colossians would be strengthened…for all endurance and patience. Having endurance means to not easily succumb under suffering; whereas patience means having self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate. On the contrary, having a lack of endurance often results in despondency or losing heart; while a lack of patience often leads to wrath or revenge.
In order to have the level of endurance and patience the Colossians needed to represent Christ to the world while navigating the sinful culture around them, they would need God’s power to be their strength.
Reading verses like this one gives us hope, for we now know that God’s power is available to us. We don’t have to cultivate our own endurance. We aren’t expected to be our own source of patience. We can have both as we depend on God for His power to strengthen us.
All we have to do, is ask.