“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11).
The Apostle Paul was clearly referring to the power of the Holy Spirit who would strengthen us for all endurance and patience with joy, on the path to Christian maturity.
In these last days, in the midst of much pain and tribulation, we need this power to persist on the path of righteousness and holiness, to the glory and honour of the Triune God.
The power resides in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead; God knows that we need to battle against our indwelling sin (the flesh), the world and its negative influence as well as the evil one and all minions. Spiritual warfare, mortification of the flesh, the battle against conforming to the world – all these mean an ‘uphill battle’ without the spiritual power and strength available. Hence the Father and the Son send to all believers the Holy Spirit to dwell in them, to enable them, and to mold them into the image of the Son.
The fruit of the Spirit is the result – this not only ‘adorns’ the life of the believer but it is the fruit that reflects the character and life of God.
Patience, the passive mode of endurance, whereby pain, grief, suffering and disappointment are handled without inner collapse is one facet of the fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). This is a supernatural gift, not a natural endowment.
Love, another facet of the fruit, shines brightest when exercised for Jesus’ sake toward the unlovely and seemingly unlovable; joy, another facet, when sure of God’s sovereign providence, enables us to stay calm instead of panicking and being all flustered up. Patience endurance, in the same way, is clearly manifested when we stand steady under pain and pressure. But this is no easy task and it is no casual agenda. Integral to our holiness, our majority and our Christlikeness, is this habit of enduring – it is a necessary discipline for those who are in Christ and desire to remain in Him to His glory and honour.