Sometimes when reading the Bible I come on a verse that just doesn’t say what I expect it to say. Here’s one like that–Colossians 1:11. In the first part of the verse Paul prays that God’s people will be (quote) “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might.” Wow, that’s a great prayer—I pray for strength, don’t you? So far so good.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He prays that God’s people may be strengthened with all power (quote) “so that you may have great endurance and patience” (end quote). Strengthened with all power so that you may—what, Paul? Have great endurance and patience? Oh, boy, that’s not what I expected. I would have expected you to pray that God’s people would be strengthened with all power so that that they might accomplish great things for God. Something grand and glorious!
True, I know I should endure and be patient, but that’s not usually my goal. I want victory, not endurance. And patience? I’m like the writer of Psalm 6, who asks, “How long, O LORD, how long?”
You’ve probably heard about the person who prayed, “Lord, I want patience—and I want it right now!” But God doesn’t give us patience like a vitamin pill that we swallow once a day. We get it by being tested and tried. Paul says, however, that in those times of testing and trials, we can be fortified, built up, and toughened with all power according to his magnificent, wonderful, superb might.
Strong words, aren’t they. And they’re very encouraging. They tell us that God is the source of patience and endurance. In fact, His supply is infinite. In answer to prayer He can strengthen us so that we may have great endurance and, yes, “patience.”