Attaining Steadfastness and Patience
As followers of Christ engage in various levels of ministry and face the challenges of promoting the kingdom of God in a resistant world, there is great need to persevere through the opposition. Paul, the author of the words being considered in this letter to the Colossian believers, knew this reality very well. In reference to various forms of affliction faced in his service to God, he states, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13). As stated previously, Paul, revealing how he prayed for the believers in Colossae, acknowledged that God provides empowerment to strengthen us in our challenges. In Phil.3:10 he spoke of “the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.”
What Paul prays is that those with “faith in Christ” (Col.1:4) be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.” As any loving father makes appropriate provision for the children he loves, God does so in a very wise and suitable manner. Paul referred to such strengthening on a number of occasions (Ep.3:16, 1 Ti.1:12, 2 Ti.4:17).
The writer if Hebrews wrote, “…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…,” later adding that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace…” (Heb.13:8-9).
As we walk in obedience to God, employing the capabilities we possess in whatever state of maturity we operate, God makes gracious provisions that take us to the next level in the midst of whatever struggle we might face. As we receive and employ such gracious provision, we are encouraged to endure and practice the longsuffering that is an expression of the character of God, in whose image we were created, from which we had departed, to which we are returning.
Joyously Giving Thanks to the Father
Seeing the great selfless love of God that has made all of this possible, we are humbled and inspired to joyously give thanks to the Father for His wonderful provision of salvation and continual manifestations of grace.
“…we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Col.1:9-12)