AFReG Call to Prayer
The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, our theme is “Patient Endurance.”
Read Colossians 1: 9-12
In this first chapter of Colossians, Paul makes a passionate prayer concerning the Church in Colossae and indeed concerning all of us who share the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. The prayer focuses on us living a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in every way. Four things are highlighted: fruit bearing in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, accessing God’s power to patiently endure and being joyously thankful to God.
Patient endurance has to do with staying above and through hard situations in life. Two elements are suggested from the combination of these words: difficulty and time. Patience is called upon when a thing expected is delayed, deferred or even denied. Patience is called upon when a process is stretched out. When Samson’s eyes were gouged out by the Philistines, it took time for his hair to grow again. It took patience and great endurance to bear the daily grind of grain in the prison (Judges 16:21). Eventually, his hair grew back again. Despite his difficult circumstances, resulting from his own disobedience, he never lost sight of his purpose. So at his death, he killed more Philistines than he had killed in his life.
Purpose inspires patient endurance. Where there is a vision of a desired destination or purpose, there likely will be the wherewithal to tarry through the distance, however long and difficult. In our scripture passage above, the desired destination is to live a life worthy of the Lord and to please Him. How do we remain on course when what life presents us seems unfair, unjust, or out-rightly wrong? How do we surmount the desire to give in or to give up? How do we rise above the cultural, racial, economic and social pressure to conform in a direction that is not godly for the sake of fitting in? How do we say “no” to some compromise in order to ease the pressure presented by taking a stand for righteousness and justice? When pain abounds with no relief in sight, how do we continue believing in the goodness and faithfulness of God?
We hear the Lord’s words to Zerubbabel resound – “Not by might, not by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” God’s power through His Spirit enables us to patiently endure. His Spirit leads us into all truth so that we remain unshakably rooted in Him through every trial and difficulty. Through His spirit, we are able to remain assured of His impeccable goodness and faithfulness toward us. His Spirit reveals the things He has freely given us including strength and comfort for the journey we walk. His Spirit causes us to abound in hope, filled with joy and peace because we trust in Him. By His Spirit God works in us to will and to do His good purpose. Through it all, we are enabled to behold the glory of the Lord, who is the Spirit, as we are being transformed into His image from one glory to another.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the example you set through patiently enduring in life and in death so that we would have the help we need to walk as you did on earth.
Help us remember that as your children, nothing comes to us without your express permission. We rest in the assurance of your presence and walk triumphantly; reigning in life through the gift of righteousness and abundance of grace.
As the family of AFReG, open our eyes to where we can come alongside, and speak up for or act on behalf of those who are going through situations in life that call for patient endurance.