The source of joy

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1.9-14 (ESV)

bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Increasing in the knowledge of God  leads to his people being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy.

Endurance and patience imply that to step out on a fruit bearing life is not guaranteed to be an easy path for both characteristics are closely related to being challenged. We do not endure something which we love doing which is easy and satisfying. And patience is something we need when things do not go in the way or at the speed for which we hope. The kick at the end of this phrase is, however, ‘with joy’. It is not immediately what we expect. To endure with joy, to be patient with joy, goes against perceived wisdom so in the closing verses of this section Paul sets out the reasons for this joy in hardship which all  hinge on our status in Christ.

See what the Father has done!

 We are qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Inheritance is something we may look forward to on a purely human level in expectation of  receiving  material blessings from those of a previous generation, especially family members, handed down or handed on. However there are countless millions in our world for whom such material inheritances are a pipe dream if that.

Spiritual inheritance is different. It is still a family thing – see what the ‘Father’ has done. It is for all, as being part of the family we are qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. We become ‘co- heirs with Christ’ Romans 8.17. It is for all who have put their trust in Christ for salvation.

We are delivered from the domain of darkness.

Before our eyes were opened to the effects of sin and the wonder of the cross we were in darkness, separated from the life and light of God but now we are delivered from that ‘dark domain.’

We are transferred to the kingdom of Christ his beloved Son

What a great transfer!

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1Peter 2.10

We are redeemed and forgiven

Bought back from the kingdom of darkness, sins forgiven, we have an incredible new status.

Here is the source of joy. The joy that enables us to endure and be patient. The joy that should make us eager to do those good works God has prepared for us to do.

Are you eager to ‘spend and be spent’ in such a life?

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that ‘For the joy set before him Jesus, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12.2.

So let us ‘Fix our eyes on Jesus’ and live lives to his glory for the joy so wonderfully set before us giving thanks to the Father and praying for each other to be more like Jesus.

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