There are many different paths our hearts can take when we encounter hardship, difficulty, or struggle. It shouldn’t surprise us when we find ourselves confronted with complaint, bitterness, resentment, or the desire to give up.
Some of us might object to serving based on these realities. Imagine engaging Paul in conversation, “So, Paul, you did all of this serving and received all of this suffering, hardship, and difficulty. Look at what it got you. After all, you sat in jail as you wrote this letter. So, you’re telling me this is what a person gets for doing this? Thank you Jesus, but no thank you!”
Paul could’ve thought these thoughts or adopted this type of attitude, but he takes another path. He writes, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1.24).
Paul mastered the art of contentment and discovered the pathway to joy. While he knew what it meant to struggle, face hardship, and endure difficulty, he knew a life of serving and suffering results in a life of rejoicing.
Today, commit Colossians 1.24 to memory. Write this verse on an index card and carry it with you. Or put it someplace where you can frequently review. Ask God to provide you the courage and grace to serve and endure suffering, hardship, and difficulty with contentment and joy.