My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3, NIV)
This verse literally begins with “So that they may be encouraged…” If you will recall Colossians 2:1, Paul was describing his “struggle” for the church. No one enjoys hardship. It is even worse when we endure purposeless hardship. But if we have good reason to face the difficult, the human spirit can endure most anything. I know moms and dads who work multiple jobs to provide for their families. I know students who go through challenging ordeals in order to get an education. We don’t like to struggle, but we will struggle if we feel the reward is valid.
Paul describes his reward here: I am willing to struggle so that people come into a relationship with their Creator. If Paul’s imprisonment for preaching the gospel somehow furthered this purpose, he was glad to do it.
It is good, from time to time, to think about purpose. Why do you work so hard at your job? Why do you spend time in prayer and Bible study? Why do you inconvenience yourself to be at your kids’ events? Why do you go to church…or not go to church? What are the reasons you do what you do?
None of us have free time these days. And since we can’t do everything, it is important that we do the right things for the right reasons. It gives us confidence in life. And when we are confident in the Lord, we can endure struggles…because we know the end result will be worth it.
Speaking of purpose, this Sunday evening Christine and I will be discussing planning for the family’s purpose in our Family Legacy Workshop from 6-7:30. After discussing the importance of a plan, we’ll help you work through a family mission statement. If you’re just now thinking about this or simply need some fine-tuning, I hope you’ll join us.