Devotional: November 4, 2021
"We're praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; by being strengthened through his glorious might so that you endure everything and have patience."
Colossians 1: 10-11
As the Apostle Paul is writing this to the church at Colossae, he hopes that they will live lives worthy of the Lord. What defines a Godly life? One of the distinguishing marks is producing fruit. Undoubtedly, Paul has in the mind the “fruits of the spirit”, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, from Galatians 5: 22-23. I believe Paul’s list is not meant to be exhaustive, but suggestive. In other words, there may be other fruits of the spirit as well.
Paul wants the Colossian church to be strengthened in two specific ways. In other words, he wants them to exhibit two particular fruits of the spirit: perseverance (enduring everything), and patience.
The fruits of the Spirit came up in a recent interview with Dansby Swanson. He is a player on the baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. He was just a toddler when the Braves won their last World Series in 1995. Last night, he was on the team as they clinched the world series with a shutout win over the Houston Astros.
Here is what Dansby had to say as he commented on writing in his prayer journal each day…
“Just because [something] doesn’t happen right away doesn’t mean it won’t happen at some time, or won’t be answered in a certain way. God rewards people with persistent faith, and every day you just kind of want to hammer away at it a little bit by little bit. And you start to see all of a sudden, wow, this is how he really answered it.”
He also talked about persevering through the sometimes confusing and challenging times in his career. In 2015, he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who soon traded him to the Braves. “At the time, I didn’t really understand it,” he says. “But God’s always got a plan. And if I’ve learned one thing, it's that having faith in that plan will never fail you.”
Now, looking back, Dansby believes that being traded back to his hometown was one of the best things that ever could have happened. Who could have known that it would eventually lead to him playing on a World Series-winning team? Only God…
May we all develop both patience, and perseverance, as we face our own challenges in life.
Loving and powerful God,
Forgive me for wondering where you are when I face trials and difficulties. Sometimes I listen to voices which discourage me, instead of Your voice. Please give me the strength and perseverance to work through the challenges of life. When I feel weak, hold me. When I am unsure of Your presence, show Yourself to me. Remind me of Your love. May I grow to be as patient with myself, as You are with me. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
PS. 30 Days of Gratitude Question:
What favorite memory are you grateful for?