Colossians 1:11
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Endurance in the Strength of Another
Colossians 1:11
With Joy, Endure by His Strength.
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Published October 27th, 2016
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An Invitation to Joyful Dependence
Colossians 1:11
δυναμούμενοι ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει
you all being strengthened with all power
y May you be strengthened with all power,
κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ
according to his glorious strength
according to his glorious might,
εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν.
unto all endurance and patience
for z all endurance and patience
Μετὰ χαρᾶς
with joy/gladness,
a with joy,
An Invitation to Joyful Dependence
Colossians 1:11 is a portion of Paul's prayer/exhortation for the Colossians, which begun in 1:9. Paul's is eager for the Colossians to increase in powerful strength. The strength Paul wants them to exercise is dependent on the strength of God, which far surpasses mere human strength, for it is glorious. The glory-laden strength of God serves as the means of the powerful strength Paul desires for them. The strength of God is the rain which nourishes the Colossians strength. Q: What does such God-given strength enable? A: Joyful endurance and patience. When I hear the words endurance and patience I think of two kinds of experiences. I think of sorrowful challenges, like relational tension, illness, injustices done toward us and those around us. But I also think of zealous kingdom endeavors, like writing a book like Hoehner's on the exegetical glories of Ephesians, relationship building with unbelieving friends or unreached people groups, recording undercover videos to expose the biggest abortion industries in the United States. We have all experienced both kinds of challenges. Whether sorrowful challenges or zealous kingdom endeavors, Paul prays that they would endure and be patient. They would press forward and wait. We all know what it is to press forward when burdened (endurance) and how to wait with contentment (patience). Apart from Christ, both of these kinds of challenges are maneuvered in weariness, anxiety, fear, anger, apathy, etc. In Christ, Paul desires that the Colossians would maneuver them with joy because endurance and patience is a fruit of one's dependence on the strength of God, not oneself. Inside of this prayer is an invitation for all who are weary, suffering, facing trials, sick, isolated, treated unjustly, persecuted, uncertain of the future, sacrificing in love for another, seeking first God's kingdom, taking risks for God's glory, etc. Though these situations and pursuits require far more than human strength, we have only to come and ask for the strength of Another. Such places of dependence invite us to joy and gladness in the glorious power of God for us. And such places of dependence invite the world to see an unearthly joy that magnifies the GLORIOUS power of God at work in mere men - as they patiently endure.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.