Colossians 1:11 leaped out me . . . flashing like a neon sign. It reports a surprising result. What would you expect from “. . . being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might?” With all that spiritual fire-power (“strengthened with all power” and “according to His glorious might”) I would expect that a Christian would “discipling a few, to evangelize thousands, to reach the world.”
But the full verse actually says:
“ . . . being strengthened with all power according to His glorious
might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and
joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share
in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
That was not the result I was hoping for. I was looking for some great spiritual exploits that would showcase the power of the Living God.
Great endurance? Patience? Not too flashy. Who ever heard of getting a Ph.D. in Patience. Has there ever been a gold metal given out for Endurance? No. There is no press conference held to inform us of someone who is patient. Never make the 11:00 national news (or even the local news).
Obviously God places high value on the quieter virtues of great endurance and patience, even if its curb appeal is temporarily lower than big and flashy.
We may think big and flashy will draw people to God, but the Almighty tells us He knows how to draw people to Himself.
In 2:23 Paul lists a number of evils and then says that ascetism lacks power to “restrain sensual indulgence.” Big and flashy does not restrain the old sin nature, but “great endurance and patience” does. We would say, “The proof is in the pudding,” meaning godliness is seen more in endurance and patience than supposedly great achieves or in self-inflicted discomfort (asceticism, with “its harsh treatment of the body;” the monk’s life of self-denial).
The goal of telling Christians to tape into God’s power to endure and be patience is to make His following like Jesus Christ. God is so impressed with the Lord Jesus that He seeks to replicant Him in all those who claim to love and follow Him. Jesus knows how to do great endurance and patience.