Struggle To Encourage

Sometimes we see an example of behavior that stops us dead in our tracks because we recognize the extent of sacrifice and the enormity of devotion in someone… See anything below that you want to emulate?

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:9-12

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. Colossians 2:1-5

Considering the above information, don’t you just love Paul!

Paul greatly struggled on behalf of people he had never even met—to encourage their hearts, desiring them to have a true knowledge of God’s mystery (Christ Himself). He did everything he could to deter their being deluded with false arguments about Christ and the word of truth.

Even though he was not present physically with them, he surely was in spirit! He literally delighted to hear of their obedience to the word of truth and made sure he let them know it!

The saints in Colossae and Laodicea had never even seen Paul, but their hearts were knit together in love with him and one another and all the saints. Having been knit together in love, their hearts could then be encouraged when they heard that Paul was agonizing over them in prayer.

Having the full assurance of understanding, they could attain to all the wealth that comes with that understanding.

What understanding? The understanding of the mystery—Christ in them, the hope of glory.

To what wealth were they able to attain? The wealth is the riches of the glory of the mystery. The result is a true knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ.

It makes me think… If Paul took such pains to encourage saints he had never even met, then surely, surely, surely, we must be responsible to do the same for those in our lives today.

And take note, take very careful note—the encouragement was not to feel good about themselves, but  it was encouragement to walk obediently according to the Word of God.

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017