To Experience God’s Power

[Be] strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father.

–Colossians 1:11–12

What do you desire most for yourself and your loved ones? This week, we’re discovering what we ought to desire and pray for the people in our lives. In Colossians 1, Paul mentioned three specific things he was praying for the Colossian Christians: First, he prayed that they would know God’s will. Second, he prayed that they would obey God’s commands. Finally, he prayed that they would experience God’s power.

Look at verses 11–12: “Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father.” When we think about God’s supernatural power, we think about miraculous acts such as parting the Red Sea or feeding the five thousand. Paul said the same power that performed those miracles is working in our lives right now. When we know God’s will and obey His commands, we are strengthened with His power. And that supernatural power produces three tangible results.

  1. Steadfastness. Literally, the word steadfastness means refusing to buckle under pressure. Do you know Christians who’ve gone through horrendous difficulties in life, and you wonder how they’ve made it through such times of testing? The answer is they’ve been fortified with God’s supernatural power, which comes when we obey His commands.
  2. Patience. While steadfastness refers to how we respond to difficult circumstances, patience refers to how we respond to difficult people. The Greek word translated as “patience,” makrothumia, means to be long-tempered, to have a long fuse rather than a short fuse. The reason we can be long-tempered with others is that God is long-tempered with us–He doesn’t repay us with evil for the evil that we’ve done. God’s supernatural power produces patience.
  3. Thankfulness. When we’re overwhelmed by difficult circumstances or difficult people, Paul said we can give thanks–and do so joyously. Does that mean we’re supposed to say, “Thank You, God, for the flat tire I had on my commute this morning,” or, “Thank You, God, for this cancer”? No, that’s unrealistic. Paul was not talking about giving thanks for our circumstances but giving thanks to the God who is sovereign over our circumstances. We can be thankful because we realize that no matter what happens to us, a God who loves us is still in control of our lives. God’s supernatural power gives us a calm, steadfast assurance that He is in control.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Perfect Prayer” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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