Encouragement in Colossians
“[May you be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”Colossians 1: 11-12
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Most Lutheran teachers are familiar with the story of God’s people wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Their lack of faith and patience caused them to be stuck wandering for an extra thirty-nine years. During this time, the Israelites were upset, exhausted, and ready to be done.
Do those feelings sound familiar? As we approach the last couple of months of the school year, things are getting a little hectic. The students are getting antsy and are more concerned about summer vacation than they are about their schoolwork. If we’re honest, there are times when we may be more concerned about summer as well. Of course, the vocation of teacher is wonderful and very meaningful, and our students bring joy to our lives. Yet there are times when this journey leaves us like the Israelites—looking longingly toward the end goal, namely, summer vacation.
In the midst of this season, encouragement is necessary. This is why the words of Paul to the Colossians are so important. He says, “[May you be] strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (1:11). God gives us His strength, so we can push through these last couple of months. God gives us patience to endure the trials and setbacks that inevitably come with the end of a long school year. Finally, He gives us joy in our work; the big and little moments of joy and love give us a sense of purpose and perseverance from March to May.
We may have many moments of exhaustion, but we rejoice in the strength that God gives us. As Paul continues in his letter to the Colossians, he encourages our response to the strength God has given us: “[Give] thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (1:12). Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are qualified. Much like the Israelites were qualified to inherit the Promised Land because of God’s promises to them, we have been qualified to inherit eternal life with God, which is ours in Christ Jesus. As we live joyfully in this promise, we can endure anything with strength and patience—even these last months of the school year.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.