“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” Colossians 1:9-12 (MSG)



Paul was writing a message to the Colossians, and his prayers for the people were an overriding theme. In the first chapter of Colossians, Paul revealed something about his continual prayers for them He didn’t pray that the people would live low key lives. He didn’t pray that they would have fewer trials to overcome. Paul prayed that the people would have wisdom, a sensitivity to God’s leading, and be strengthened in the core of their being to navigate the daily challenges. He understood that God is able to strengthen people from the inside out as they lean into His working in their lives. Paul’s posture of continually praying for the people is a reminder of the need to daily come before the Lord and align our hearts with His heart. God is able to impart strength to us that we cannot manufacture on our own. 


When we want to be strong, many times we mirror the type of strength that Paul mentions. We grit our teeth, buckle down, and power through the situation. We want to show no weakness and no sign of retreat. Yet, when God is fully at work in our lives, He begins to develop within us a strength that is characterized by joy and thanksgiving. It is a quiet confidence that God is able to do more through us than we can do on our own. The strength that God gives is enduring. We don’t know what a day, month, or year will bring into our lives. We need the strength that only God can give to rise to the mountaintops, as well as journey through the valleys. Although it is important to take care of our bodies, we can spend our lives making our bodies strong without developing the key characteristics that will make our life strong. While the discipline of strengthening our bodies is important, an internal strength, not dictated by circumstances, will serve to bring peace into our hearts. This year, we do not need strength for a sprint; we need strength for a marathon in which we run our race this year with diligence, perseverance, and joy. As we focus on what God is doing, we become more sensitive to His working. We begin to learn His rhythm and heart. While we could ask God for many things, let’s take Paul’s example and ask God for fresh strength that will endure as we embrace the path that lies before us. 

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.


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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.




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