Bro. Caleb Taft
Knowing Our King | Colossians 1:9-12 "Strengthened"
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father...
Benefit number one to being filled with the knowledge of his will in wisdom and spiritual understanding is a walk that is like our Lord. Benefit number two is a mighty strength like our Saviours. Ultimately Paul's Holy Ghost-inspired desire for these people is that they be like Christ. Walking like HIm and walking in the same power as him.
A worthy walk is going to require power beyond our own, the good news is that, like he set an example before us of how to walk, he has also set the power before us to walk in his footsteps. His walk on earth looks like one of weakness, by the world's standard that is, but anyone who has tried to walk in the footsteps of the savior can tell you that there is a tremendous amount of strength required for this seemingly weak walk. Notice what the mighty strength is for, "Unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." We don't need his strength to tell off our enemies, or his strength to stand up for ourselves when we have been mistreated, or to build a name for ourselves either in the secular world or even in the ministry. No, our strength will do just fine for such things, but when you and I are going to require mighty strength is when it comes time for us to act like Christ. When it comes time to turn the other cheek, when it is time to accept our seemingly low positions on this earth, when "in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake."
Strength is often portrayed by a man who has trained his body and takes what he wants, this is the strength of the world. Godly strength is portrayed in a man who has trained his heart and accepts what the Lord gives him. Jesus was not a Hercules-type figure, the children were not intimidated, and neither were the women or the sinful men of the age and places he walked while on this earth. The only men intimidated by Christ were the self-righteous and the demoniacs of whom Christ was patient and longsuffering with as well. Nicodemus came to him and somewhere over the course of Jesus' life, we believe he became a follower of Jesus. He was a believer but not immediately, the patience of Christ allowed this self-righteous man to finally forsake his righteousness for the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. The maniac at Gadarah meets a loving Jesus who did not cast him off a cliff but the demons that once inhabited him. Jesus had the strength of billions upon billions of men, His word alone could have melted them, but we see great strength in his patience and longsuffering with men. This is the strength prayed for in this passage.
Patience and longsuffering with joyfulness are a fruit of knowing his will, having the wisdom to do his will, and understanding how to carry out his will. His will is for you to be patient and suffer long and all with a joyful heart. How many of us have dealt with a person in our life, perhaps a loved one? We have been as patient as we can be, we have suffered as long as we possibly can with this person, and joyfulness left a long time ago. Perhaps a situation in your life has tried you in the same manner, God takes us to the absolute end of our ability, to our weakest point, then when our strength has failed we finally experience his strength. Many times I have gritted my teeth and endured, when I should have realized my inability and ran to my Father immediately for strength to forbear, strength to love people who seemingly hated me, strength for patience, and strength for a long period of suffering. Do so now if you are overwhelmed, Lord I know you want me to be patient, I know you want me to be longsuffering with joyfulness but I need your mighty strength!
Paul gives us a perfect example of strength to be patient and suffer long. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us that he has a thorn in the flesh that he doesn't wish to bear, three times he takes it to the Lord; Lord remove from me this burden! The Lord does not remove the burden but reveals to Paul, and us, a wonderful truth. That this burden was sent to weaken Paul, Patience and longsuffering were going to be 2 traits that would be solidified in the life of Paul by this thorn. The Thorn caused him to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, but there was power provided to deal with the thorn, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." When Paul realized the spiritual value of his own weakness and inability to change the situation he said, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." The worthy walk of a Christian is going to lead you into areas where your strength is no good, but thanks be to God His strength is made perfect in weakness!! We should then glory and thank God for the thorns, people, and situations that erode our patience and longsuffering because then we are pressed to rely upon his, and then the last part of verse 11 can be possible, "With Joyfulness!" I will glory in my often troubles and trials and all the tight places that following Christ has brought me to, because it has been at my weakest moments, that I have experienced his grace and power to just wait, and suffer while I wait, but now with the joy of the Lord in my heart, not because I had strength, or patience or was longsuffering but because I had been "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."