May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.Colossians 1:11 ESV
When Paul wrote these words to the church in Colossi, he was in prison. I find that fascinating. He was man bound in shackles, yet he is encouraging and praying for the persecuted Christians in Colossi. His prayer is that they may be strengthened with the endurance and patience needed to make it through their trials with joy. What if we prayed this same prayer over our marriage?
Marriage takes an incredible amount of patience and endurance if we are going to make it to the finish line with joy. It’s made up of a million moments that demand that persistence and fortitude. Big moments of betrayal and little moments of annoyance—they all require patience. Sometimes we’re waiting for our spouse to get out the door and sometimes we’re waiting for our spouse to understand; sometimes we’re waiting for that financial break we need and sometimes we’re waiting for God to move in their hearts, but the reality is that many of those moments require an enduring patience. We can choose to grumble about it, or we can choose to be joyful in those moments of waiting. If we want to be sitting in those rockers holding hands someday, looking back on a life well-lived, then we need to understand how Paul found the patience to endure his trials with joy. We need to understand his prayer for the people of Colossi and apply it to our marriage.
Patience demands tremendous inner strength. Many of us are challenged with the strength it takes to exhibit patience. We all have a tendency to hop on our own agenda, and want our spouse on our agenda as well.
The reality is that the strength we need to be patient comes only from Him. Paul knew this truth—that is why he is praying for the Colossians. He is asking God to empower them with the patient endurance that the Christian life requires. But when he prays for them to be strengthened according to his glorious might, he doesn’t just mean that it takes divine power to make a person patient. He means that FAITH in this glorious might is the channel through which the power for patience comes. Paul is praying that God would connect the people with the glorious might that empowers patience. And that connection is faith. In order for us to exhibit the kind of life-altering patience it takes to save our marriages; we need to have faith in the power of God. We need to be connected to the One who fills us with patience. He is the channel by which our patience flows.
Note that Paul also says, May you be strengthened. The verb tense used in this verse is a continuous action, not a one-time event. We continually need to receive His strength in order to find the endurance we need to live this Christian life in union. We must constantly be strengthened by His glorious might. That means we must be filled with the Spirit continually if we are to find the patience to endure our trials with joy.
Far too many struggling to make it through life together recognize God for who He is, and have even surrendered their lives to Him as Savior, but they don’t do the work necessary to fill their hearts or their marriage with the Spirit. They wonder why God is not blessing them, why life isn’t easier, yet they don’t go to the source of all power and strength to be filled on a regular basis.
If you want to endure this life together with strength and patience, if you want to know peace and joy in your marriage, you must allow the Spirit to fill you continually. You must seek refuge in Him.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗