Well, my intention of writing every day was good…but maybe a bit overzealous! Thanks for your notes of encouragement this past week. I really do sense God’s heart drawing us closer to him in this time and am glad we get to have this time to connect and focus on him for a little bit of our day. (even if it’s not every day!)
A scripture came to mind this morning that I want to share. I know we each have our own set of struggles right now; possibly disappointment that Easter is coming and our normal traditions and celebrations will be different, possibly missing family and people we would normally spend time with, or facing financial stress as a result of the shut-down. I hope this scripture will encourage us no matter what we are facing…
[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy. (Colossians 1:11-12 AMP)
What caught my attention in this passage is the promise that we can “attain every kind of endurance.” That sounds like something we could all use! Not just endurance, but every kind of it! That means endurance to live with family 24/7, to homeschool our kids, as we miss family and friends (and freedom!), as we have NO time to ourselves anymore. This takes all kinds of endurance.
Consider these definitions for a minute. Are you in need of any of these?
- Endurance is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.
- Perseverance is the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
- And to forbear is to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.
Ok, the last one. Really. How many of us need some forbearance right now with our husbands or kids!? Or pets? I mean 24/7 is a lot of time together. Let’s be honest. Are we loving extra time to slow down and enjoy one another? Of course. But we also are being pressed in all kinds of ways if we are not used to being together all the time. This takes all kinds of endurance and perseverance and patience!
Just dealing with the unknowns and onslaught of fear in the media is enough to discourage. Then we add to that the stress some of us may have in our households and I can understand why the Lord brought us to this verse today.
Let’s not miss the last promise in this verse. Two little words: with joy. Not only can we endure this; we can do it with joy. This is a supernatural promise. We can’t do these things in our human strength or will. But we can ask God to fill us, to energize us, to invigorate us with his presence…that we could have the endurance, perseverance, forbearance and patience we need. And to experience his joy in the midst!
Let’s make this our prayer this week: Lord, energize and invigorate me in your presence! By the power of your Holy Spirit living in me, give me every kind of endurance. Help me persevere in what you have for me to do in this moment; and to be patient and self-controlled as I deal with daily annoyances. Above all, I want to experience your joy in a fresh way! I choose to shut out the negativity and focus on all I have to be joyful about: your faithfulness, the promise of your presence, the hope of the resurrection, and the knowledge that I can do more that just endure but I can have your joy in this time. Amen.