Read Colossians 1:11-12 (ESV)
...being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
What is the purpose of our God-given power?
If you could pick a superpower, what would it be? Do you want super strength? X-ray vision? Super speed? Why would you pick that particular power? If you are like me, you probably wouldn't have sought the power of endurance and patience. After all, if I can just run super fast, I can get where I’m headed quickly which eliminates my endurance or patience. Which is great, because if I’m honest, I’d rather just avoid situations that require those two virtues.
But according to today’s verses, Paul prayed for God to strengthen the Colossians with His power. Not so that they could perform miracles or for selfish gain, but so that they could patiently, joyfully, and gratefully endure. The emphasis here is not on what we can accomplish through God’s power but rather on our attitude because of His power at work in us. His power changes our character, not our circumstances.
In Romans 5:3-4, Paul wrote that “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”. Paul knew that God’s power would strengthen the Colossians so that they could endure suffering without losing hope. Instead of despair, God’s power enables believers to remain thankful and to look forward to their future inheritance with great joy!
In verse 12, Paul reminded the Colossians that God the Father qualified them to share in this inheritance. We should be grateful that God made a way for us to be saved. Through sin, we had disqualified ourselves from heaven. But through Jesus, we have been justified and made right in God’s eyes. Through Jesus, we are now eligible to receive a portion among the saints. We didn’t deserve this, it was a gift from God. When we fully grasp this, we give thanks to God despite our current circumstances.
Friends, God doesn’t give us His power so that we can avoid painful situations. He gives us His power to strengthen us so that we can power through no matter the circumstances. And He doesn’t give us the strength to merely survive while we gripe and grumble all the way to the finish line. No, He gives us the strength to endure patiently with joy in our hearts and thankfulness on our lips because we know what we are looking forward to. We know that great is our reward from Him at the end of the road. We get a share of the inheritance! Not because we deserved it but because He freely gave it. So press on in grateful joy empowered by Him.
God, You are all-powerful. You are mighty. And You have promised to strengthen me with Your power. Please give me the strength to patiently endure this life with thankfulness and joy in my heart because I know that You are faithful and You have promised me a heavenly inheritance. Praise You, God. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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