How to Develop New Vitality in Living: Part Two

Colossians 1: 9 – 11

Jesus in praying for us set the standard we should follow in praying for one another. A pattern for such prayer is recorded in Colossians 1: 9 – 11.

Three things are noted as being needed in verse 11b.

Patience, under trial (hupomone). This is a reference to being patient with things and circumstances. This is the ability to deal triumphantly with any thing life throws at you. It is not the kind of patience that just sits with head bowed and lets life roll over you like a tidal wave.  It is the ability to turn them into your good and His glory. It is not passiveness. It is active performance with the ability to endure. 

Second, we are to be longsuffering, under provocation (makrothumia). In effect, this is patience with people. This is the ability to bear people’s maliciousness and bitterness. It is the mental ability not to give vent to passionate violence.  It is brave patience. Romans 5:3,4 describes it. “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character hope.”

Hope is kept alive by this process. It isn’t an instantaneous thing, it is a consequence of the process.

Third, we should show joy. This results from a heart at leisure with itself because of a preoccupation with Christ.  It refers to a buoyant sense of mastery.  It is a sunny heart.

Many people can tolerate and forebear difficulty, but often sadly.  The Christian is to be patient and longsuffering with JOY.

On the eve John Bradford of Newgate was to be burned alive for his faith, he danced in his cell and sang: “Rejoice, for tomorrow is my wedding day.”  He rejoiced saying, “Fine shining we shall make tomorrow when the flame is kindled.”

I saw a young lady recently who some years ago was unjustly fired from her very public position for sharing her faith. The firing was followed by inappropriate ridicule. She reminded me her entire being was changed when I told her she should rejoice in that she was counted worthy to suffer for her Lord. Thereafter, she responded beautifully and victoriously. Her ministry became larger and far more productive.

Colossians 1: 14 explains how this is possible. The reference is to Jesus “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin.”

We who know deliverance from the horror of the domain of darkness and have been saved from the wrath to come, and brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins have reason for joy.

We have been bought with a price, the precious blood of our Savior Jesus

Christ our Lord. He has not only redeemed us from a lost eternity, but in doing so has empowered us with the capacity to be patient with circumstances and people. Furthermore, He has empowered us with the ability to experience and share joy amid difficulty. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. Oh joy!