Sometimes, we think we have it hard as Christians in our culture. We have no idea. The early churches in Colossae were heavily persecuted by the Roman government and cut off by the Jewish community – friends, neighbors, and family they had known and loved and shared life with. Being a follower of Jesus in the first century was downright hard and dangerous. And here is Paul, the apostle who has suffered any number of imprisonments, stonings, and attempts on his life, advising the churches to endure the hardships with patience and with joy. Even Jesus, who suffered in unimaginable ways, was pleased to do so for love of humankind, according to verses 19 and 20.
When things are especially hard in your life, how patiently do you endure them? Do you find reasons to be joyful even amidst the difficulty? In prayer, offer a very difficult situation to God.
Commit yourself to patience and to finding reasons for joy, even while you wait for the hardship to pass.