Patience provides hope while waiting for a goal to be realized. Endurance provides strength to resist pressures to abandon a goal; before it is realized. Humans are powerless to effect instantaneous change. Being able to wait for a goal, and having strength to resist abandoning a goal, before it is realized, are therefore desirable attributes.
Christianity postulates the existence of an after-life. In addition, it requires a lifestyle contrary to secular lifestyles. Thus Christians experience social and moral frictions that can erode their faith, and hence lose the prize of living a Christian life. So endurance and patience are highly valued Christian attributes.
This post is an examination of Apostle Paul’s method for acquiring endurance and patience. He penned this method in the letter to the church at Colosse. It appears in the book of Colossians.
In Colossians 1:9-12 the Apostle tells the church he prays for it:
* To be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding and,
* To be so strengthened in order that it has great endurance and patience.
Read Colossians 1:9-12 in order to answer these two questions.
1. Why did Paul want the church to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will?
2. How does he intend the church to use this knowledge to get endurance and patience?
Colossians 1:9-12 (New International Version)
9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[ to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Reread the passage until you can answer these six questions?
1. How is “the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” earned?
2. How does Paul intend this church to use this knowledge?
3. Name six benefits of being fill with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
4. Does “being filled with the knowledge of God’s will” insure patience and endurance? Discuss.
5. Read (Luke 12:32).
6. Does “being filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” insure patience and endurance? Discuss.
7. Is being filled with the knowledge of God’s will necessary to gain the inheritance of the saints?
Write your understanding of Colossians 1:9-12. Multiple reads may be necessary to unfold a meaning satisfactory to you.
Endurance and patience via Colossians 1:9-12.
Paul was a spiritual giant. He prayed for the Colossian church to gain endurance and patience. So he believed it was possible get through prayer.
Let us consider Paul’s prayer attitude as he prays for the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding; from which follow patience and endurance.
1. His prayer was immediate in time. Paul writessince the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.
Immediate means as soon as the Apostle heard about the spirituality of this church, he responded to his heart’s call to pray. He did not debate when to do it or where to do it. This does not speak against setting aside time to pray. It only addresses his immediate response to this good news.
2. His prayer was incessant. we have not stopped praying for you.
This statement is best illustrated by the behavior of an addict who desires a fix. He relentlessly pursues his drug of choice until the craving is satisfied.
Pray-ers must have the same mindset. They must relentlessly pray until their petitions are granted or until directed to another petition.
The New Testament reports Jesus advocating an incessant attitude to prayer (Luke 18:1-8) (Luke 11:5-10) and he practiced it. (Mark 14:32-42)
These scriptures attest prayer to be hard work – very hard work. For these great pray-ers ended their prayers when and only when their petitions are met.
3. His prayer is Intense. It is had to believe that Paul, who prayed so much for this church’s spirituality, offered a prayer devoid of intensity.
Jesus provides an example of this intensity. Consider Jesus’ Gethsemane experience. He used his spirit, mind and body to offer his prayer. (Luke 22:39-45) When the spirit, mind and body are all engaged, power of prayer is released.
Recall the story of the praying tax collector and the praying Pharisee. The Pharisee prayed by reciting words about himself. The tax collector engaged his spirit, mind and body. Jesus tells us only the tax collector went home justified. (Luke 18:9-14)
4. His prayer was offered in fellowship. Paul writessince the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.
Group prayer by pray-ers of a single accord is powerful. Jesus said spiritual requests will be granted from two or more gather in his name. Also see. (Acts 4: 22-31)
But Jesus does not spurn the prayer of a single contrite pray-er, one entering his secret chamber and pouring out his heart to God. (Matt 6:6-8)
In conclusion, use the (immediate, incessant, and intense) prayer model to seek the will of God for yourself. Then dedicate yourself to a life worthy of God; according to your faith, patience and endurance follows. (Matt 7:7-11)
For more about the will of God, visit Luke 12:47-48 then meditate Romans 10:9 and 1 John 3: 23-24.
Bible Verses that Secure Faith
Biblical Remedies for Anxiety
Piper, John The Pleasures of God Multnomh Publishers 2000.
W. H. Griffith Thomas The Prayers of St. Paul www.gutenberg.org 2009 [EBook #30389]