"We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience." —Colossians 1:10-11 Endurance and patience are not two items most of us put high on our wish lists. I want to be a better preacher, be more faithful, learn to love more, find strength to be a mighty man of God, perhaps make more money?
You get it.
But endurance and patience? They sound hard and not very fun.
When the early apostles prayed this particular prayer for the Church to be supernaturally strengthened, it wasn’t so that the people could perform miracles, become hugely successful, or emerge as a powerful entity on the social landscape. No, this prayer was for endurance and patience.
“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city,” wrote a wise man (Proverbs 16:32).
True supernatural strength lies in being able to endure hardships, from the nagging hassles of daily life to the big things, like illness, death, and heartache. It takes supernatural strength to be patient. Patient to see how God is going to work through a set of circumstances, patient with someone who is difficult or struggling. Patient with how your life unfolds, on God’s timetable and not yours.
Oh Lord, give us perseverance in difficulties, and patience with people! Please do this by strengthening us with Your power.
“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).
“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s little nut that held its ground.” —unknown