When I was little, after Saturday morning cartoons, my brother and I would watch this TV show with one of the most successful body-builders of all-time Lee Haney. I always thought it was the coolest thing to have huge muscles. My wife laughs at how I always like to ask the biggest guy at the gym what he does to get bigger biceps. Maybe someday…
But in any workout, there usually is some type of weight-lifting…designed to make you stronger.
In Colossians 1:11, it says in order to walk close to God…we need strength, power, & might. It’s time for some weight-lifting. And when you do, you don’t produce huge biceps and superior lats…no, you get something much better – endurance, patience with joy.
Doesn’t that just describe life. Write that phrase down – “Endurance and patience w/ joy” and repeat it often throughout the week.
- When new construction delays your way to work – “Endurance and patience w/ joy”
- When a tree falls into the side of the house – “Endurance and patience w/ joy”
- When your husband decides to fix an electrical outlet and the entire 1st floor electricity goes out (love you honey) – “Endurance and patience w/ joy”
No matter how hard I try to bench 500 pounds…just not going to happen unless two big guys pulling it off my chest before I die.
This is life – and it is heavy lifting – sometimes the weight seems too much and we call on God for a spot…when we should be depending on Him for all of the lifting all along.
“Strengthened” – this literally means a regenerating power – not just a one-time power up at salvation hoping to last a lifetime – God will strengthen you till you meet Him in glory. This strength is a power that comes from God. Have you felt that power? I know I have. In tragedy – God gave me power to get through. In temptation – God has given me power to fight through. In trials – God gives me power to suffer through.
You know, there are those that don’t believe in God and his power – ask them this – You prove to yourself there is no God. Congratulations…now what do you have?
“Endurance” – resisting the urge to fight evil with evil or take revenge. Fight another way – by persevering to the end and not quitting in the Christian life. Charles Spurgeon said “By perseverance the snail reached the ark”. Don’t quit when life gets tough.
- Tough day at work – don’t yell at your wife
- Tragedy in your family – be kind to the doctors, nurses, & funeral director
- Job loss – don’t let your pride make you unbearable.
Don’t try to fight with other means like bitterness, anger, or hate…it will take you down the wrong road.
“Patience” – steadfast, one who will not be deterred from the ultimate goal – even through immense trials and difficulty. This is not the weight-lifter that sits on the machine “waiting around” – this is like a runner battling through cramps and pain to finally reach the finish line. Body-builders grinding it out only to see results later down the road – isn’t that what life is like?
“Joy” – is a sign of a strong Christian walk. Some of you today are lifting some heavy weight right now, some incredible burdens – but it is the inner strength that comes from the Lord – still find joy in these times. It’s not a passive or emotionless joy. Even when we know the ending of a movie/documentary, we still may cry tears in the middle…we are in the middle of God’s story, and we know the end…but we still may hurt. But God gives us the strength to have joy even in the struggles, pain and disappointment – that’s the power of God.
There’s a reason why runners do weight training – so they have endurance and strength to fight to the end. God can give you that strength to fight to the end.
God can part the sea, make the sun stand still, and create the universe in 6 days…but He can’t make you have patience…what does that tell you? God will do all He can to put you in a position to endure and have patience with joy. Will you let Him train you in your patience & joy?