In his letter to the Colossians, Paul admonishes the Christians to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way.” He then tells them how. He says to get our strength from God’s power so we can exercise “great endurance and patience. We want stuff and we want it now. We want results and we want them now. Yet the Bible repeatedly says that patience should be a way of life for followers of Christ. To have patience is the ability to endure graciously. We all have to deal at times with people or circumstances that try our composure – an ungrateful child, an inattentive waitress, a slow moving line at the cash register, a spouse or friend taking our efforts for granted. How graciously do we behave in these circumstances?
“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.” Colossians 1:11
We also have to exercise patience with God as we wait for His full plan to unfold. At times we must wait for answers to prayers, for deliverance, for provision, or for Him to dispense justice or reveal His will. We really have no choice but to wait in these circumstances, but a child of God who is developing patience will endure the wait graciously. It helps to remember how very patient God has to be with us on a daily basis!
Exercising patience isn’t just in exercise of the human will. The kind of patience Paul is talking about is a fruit of the Spirit developed in a person’s soul in tandem with God. It’s a virtue that grows from their confidence in the sovereignty of God and His ability to bring all things to completion, in His timing, in a way that benefits His children and glorifies Him.
Endurance and patience pleases God. Patience is easier accomplished when there is hope. Where there seems to be a sense of fairness, it is easier to endure. But how often do we have that luxury? It is during difficult situations where all seems lost, where hope is nowhere to be found, that we must trust God and be strengthened in a way that only His power could accomplish. We come to Him, with all His glorious might, and choose to deliberately be patient and endure. It is an act of faith, one that is pleasing to Him. Today, trust God and His power, put your situation into His hands and choose to be patient and endure.