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Power to Toil

What if the power of God was not to be restricted to instantaneous, dynamic results? What if the power of God wasn’t always glamorous and impressive? What if the power of God sometimes looked ordinary and laborious? This is what Paul says in Colossians 1:28-29

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

So, Paul as a leader is seeking to bring other believers up in maturity. How did he do it? Did it always simply involve laying hands on someone and seeing a breakthrough? Did Paul sail through ministry feeling nothing of weariness? Far from it. Paul’s discipleship pattern came through toil. The word for toil has a range of meanings from working hard, to struggling in tiredness and weariness. Paul knew what it was like to put long hours in and to be exhausted. Indeed, he describes this toil as struggling, the Greek word being where we get our English word “agonize” from. This is not glamorous.

But what is the main catalyst in such a ministry setting? Is it human willpower? Is it stubbornness and discipline? Well, according to Paul, he does all of this (literally), “according to his energy which is working in me in power.” In his toil, he knew the power of God.

As we continue to navigate our lives through these prolonged strange and frustrating waters, the power of God is needed now more than ever. And this power, I’d propose, is the power to simply get up and go again. To fight against discouragements, to believe in God for brighter days ahead, and to get on with our duties with joy. There are miracles amidst the perseverance. Indeed, the greatest miracle may be the perseverance itself.

O God, we need Your power
Power to get up and go again
Power to keep pressing on
Power to be alert when we’re tired
Power to be patient when we’re restless
Power to be hopeful when we’re despairing
Let us know Your power in the mundane as well as the wonderful,

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