Scripture: Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. Colossians 1:11 (NKJV)

Observation:  Spiritual strength is a third factor that results from knowing God’s will and pleasing Him. Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might includes three words for strength: “being strengthened” is dynamoumenoi; “power” is dynamei, spiritual vitality; and “might” is kratos (“power that overcomes resistance”; used only of God in the NT). This God-given strength produces great endurance and patience. This endurance (trans. “perseverance” in James 1:3) was exemplified by Job (James 5:11). To this endurance Paul added “patience,” a word generally connected with gentleness and calm sweetness (as in 1 Cor. 13:4). Endurance and patience are often associated (cf. 2 Cor. 6:4, 6; 2 Tim. 3:10; James 5:10–11). Endurance (hypomon, lit., a “remaining under”) implies not easily succumbing under suffering; and patience (makrothymia, lit., “long temper”; cf. Col. 3:12) means self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate. A lack of endurance often results in despondency or losing heart, whereas a lack of patience often leads to wrath or revenge (cf. Prov. 15:18; 16:32).  (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

Application: One of the lessons our children must learn early in life is that of delayed gratification.  When we quickly give in to our child’s every whim and desire, we’re only teaching them that they will always get what they want and do not need to exercise any patience whatsoever.  On the other hand, when we teach our children from the time they are small that there are times when they need to wait, we are really teaching them several of the three things mentioned in the text for today.
      Here’s an example.  When your child asks for a toy, particularly one that costs a fair amount of money, you can make an agreement with your child that if they save a certain amount of money toward that toy, you will help them with the final percentage.  For instance, “If you save from your allowance until you have 80% of the cost, I will help you out with the final 20%.”  This teaches them to both be patient AND persistent.  If they truly want something, they can work toward that goal.  If they don’t want it that bad, they will probably give up a lot earlier before reaching the goal.  But if they persist, and save the agreed on amount, one of several things will take place.  In some cases, by the time they have saved that amount they have changed their mind and either don’t want that anymore or they may want something different.  But if they do persist in having what they have saved for, once they get it they will experience greater joy (which is the third thing from our verse) than if they had simply received it the moment they asked you for it.
     So, don’t answer every request immediately.  Instead, work with them, and pray that they will be patient, persistent, and at the end joyous.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, bless my children that as they work to fulfill their wishes they may be patient, they may work toward their goal and be persistent, and that they may have the joy that accompanies reaching a long-awaited goal.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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