Fortitude, Patience and Joy
by Arlene Baker

"May He strengthen you, in His glorious might, with ample power to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience, and joy; and to give thanks to the Father who has made you fit to share the heritage of God's people in the realm of light." Colossians 1:11 NEDB

Fortitude: power to endure pain or hardship
Patience: power to wait calmly;
persistence (continue despite difficulty)
Joy: exultant satisfaction; keen delight

Most of us endure life's struggles with fortitude-after all, what choice do we have? We plod on, one day at a time, seeking relief.
Then God asks us to meet these same struggles with patience-the power to wait calmly. When bills are piling up without means to pay and no end in sight? Dealing with issues at work and in the family? Wait calmly?

Ok, so we finally master the ability to endure every situation. We have even come to a point of a certain amount of patience. We know the trial will endsomeday. Then God hits us with the third whammynot only are we expected to greet each struggle with fortitude and patiencewe are instructed to do so with JOY. Joy?

It is possible to endure hardship and grumble. It is possible to endure hardship in patient resignation. But it is only by God's grace and strength that we can greet hardship with joy-exultant satisfaction, keen delight. Only the Christ in us can accomplish this miracle. And it is just this miracle that will cause unbelievers take notice and exclaim "whatever it is you haveI WANT IT."

We are God's light to a dark world. They may read the Bible, but they certainly do read us. What is the world reading from my life?

The author wishes to enjoy every year God gives her on this earth.

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