Yesterday a record high temperature was recorded for our area at over 60 degrees. The warmth continued overnight, but now it’s windy and the temp is falling toward seasonal range and, like much of the rest of the country has in the last day, we are set to have some thunderstorms. It was starting to feel like spring. I’m ready for that renewing season.
Life has thrown plenty our way over the last couple of years. It’s all too easy to hit the lowlights rather than the high points. I was struck by that as I read from this today (emphasis mine):
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 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.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Even while hitting the lowlights, Paul makes clear to the Colossians that he does suffer for a cause, to make Jesus known to them, to encourage them to live in what they know to be God’s truth and not give in to ‘plausible arguments’. The summary and direction – therefore – ties the point of suffering with the fruit of a life in faith – abounding in thanksgiving.
I am thankful for much that has resulted from the suffering our family has endured. I could list it, but it would be far too long. Suffice it to say, we are thankfully walking in him who is our Lord, becoming more and more rooted and established, and grateful that the season of renewal does indeed come.