Colossians 1:11
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
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(11) His glorious power.—Properly, the strength of His glory, His glory being His manifestation of Himself in love to man. (Comp. Ephesians 3:16, “According to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man.”) On this use of “the glory” of God, frequent in these Epistles, see Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14, and Notes there. The prayer, however, in the Ephesian Epistle looks to “knowledge of the love of Christ” as its object; the prayer here to power of endurance of trial and suffering.

Patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.—(1) “Patience” is here “endurance,” rather than what we usually call patience. It is spoken of by St. James (James 1:3) as the result of the bracing effect of trial, and is illustrated by the typical example of Job (James 5:11). Now a glance at the Book of Job will show that, while in respect of physical trial he is resignation itself (Job 1:21; Job 2:10), yet that under the spiritual trial, which is the great subject of the book, he is the reverse of what is commonly called patient. He endures and conquers, but it is not without vehement passion and spiritual struggles, occasionally verging on a repining and rebellion, of which he bitterly repents (Job 41:6). (2) To this “patience,” therefore, here as elsewhere (2Timothy 3:10), St. Paul adds “longsuffering”—a word generally connected (as in 1Corinthians 13:4) with the temper of gentleness and love, and coming much nearer to the description of our ordinary idea of a “patient” temper, which, in its calm sweetness and gentleness, hardly feels to the utmost such spiritual trials as vexed the righteous soul of Job. Of such longsuffering our Lord’s bearing of the insults of the Condemnation and the cruelties of the Passion, when “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,” is the perfect type. (3) Yet even then St. Paul is not content without “joyfulness,” in obedience to the command of our Master (Matthew 5:12), fulfilled in Himself on the cross (Hebrews 12:2). The ground of such joy, so often shown in Christian martyrdom, is given by St. Peter (1Peter 4:13), “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Of that joy St. Paul himself was a bright example in his present captivity. (See Philippians 1:18-19; Philippians 2:17-18.) The words therefore form a climax. “Patience” struggles and endures; “long-suffering” endures without a struggle; “joyfulness” endures and glories in suffering.



Colossians 1:11 {R.V.}.

There is a wonderful rush and fervour in the prayers of Paul. No parts of his letters are so lofty, so impassioned, so full of his soul, as when he rises from speaking of God to men to speaking to God for men. We have him here setting forth his loving desires for the Colossian Christians in a prayer of remarkable fulness and sweep. Broadly taken, it is for their perfecting in religious and moral excellence, and it is very instructive to note the idea of what a good man is which is put forth here.

The main petition is for wisdom and spiritual understanding applied chiefly, as is to be carefully noted, to the knowledge of God’s will . The thought is that what it most imports us to know is the Will of God, a knowledge not of merely speculative points in the mysteries of the divine nature, but of that Will which it concerns us to know because it is our life to do it. The next element in Paul’s desires, as set forth in the ideal here, is a worthy walk, a practical life, or course of conduct which is worthy of Jesus Christ, and in every respect pleases Him. The highest purpose of knowledge is a good life. The surest foundation for a good life is a full and clear knowledge of the Will of God.

Then follow a series of clauses which seem to expand the idea of the worthy walk and to be co-ordinate or perhaps slightly causal, and to express the continuous condition of the soul which is walking worthily. Let us endeavour to gather from these words some hints as to what it is God’s purpose that we should become.

I. The many-sided strength which may be ours.

The form of the word ‘strengthened’ here would be more fully represented by ‘being strengthened,’ and suggests an unintermitted process of bestowal and reception of God’s might rendered necessary by our continuous human weakness, and by the tear and wear of life. As in the physical life there must be constant renewal because there is constant waste, and as every bodily action involves destruction of tissue so that living is a continual dying, so is it in the mental and still more in the spiritual life. Just as there must be a perpetual oxygenation of blood in the lungs, so there must be an uninterrupted renewal of spiritual strength for the highest life. It is demanded by the conditions of our human weakness. It is no less rendered necessary by the nature of the divine strength imparted, which is ever communicating itself, and like the ocean cannot but pour so much of its fulness as can be received into every creek and crack on its shore.

The Apostle not merely emphasises the continuousness of this communicated strength, but its many-sided variety, by designating it ‘all power.’ In this whole context that word ‘all’ seems to have a charm for him. We read in this prayer of ‘ all spiritual wisdom,’ of ‘walking worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing,’ of ‘fruit in every good work,’ and now of ‘ all power,’ and lastly of ‘ all patience and longsuffering.’ These are not instances of being obsessed with a word, but each of them has its own appropriate force, and here the comprehensive completeness of the strength available for our many-sided weakness is marvellously revealed. There is ‘infinite riches in a narrow room.’ All power means every kind of power, be it bodily or mental, for all variety of circumstances, and, Protean, to take the shape of all exigencies. Most of us are strong only at points, and weak in others. In all human experience there is a vulnerable spot on the heel. The most glorious image, though it has a head of gold, ends in feet, ‘part of iron and part of clay.’

And if this ideal of many-sided power stands in contrast with the limitations of human strength, how does it rebuke and condemn the very partial manifestations of a very narrow and one-sided power which we who profess to have received it set forth! We have access to a source which can fill our whole nature, can flower into all gracious forms, can cope with all our exigencies, and make us all-round men, complete in Jesus Christ, and, having this, what do we make of it, what do we show for it? Does not God say to us, ‘Ye are not straitened in me, ye are straitened in yourselves; I beseech you be ye enlarged.’

The conditions on our part requisite for possessing ‘all might’ are plain enough. The earlier portion of the prayer plainly points to them. The knowledge of God’s Will and the ‘walk worthy of the Lord’ are the means whereby the power which is ever eager to make its dwelling in us, can reach its end. If we keep the channel unchoked, no doubt ‘the river of the water of life which proceedeth from the throne of God and the Lamb’ will rejoice to fill it to the brim with its flashing waters. If we do not wrench away ourselves from contact with Him, He will ‘strengthen us with all might.’ If we keep near Him we may have calm confidence that power will be ours that shall equal our need and outstrip our desires.

II. The measure of the strength.

It is ‘according to the power of His glory.’ The Authorised Version but poorly represents the fulness of the Apostle’s thought, which is more adequately and accurately expressed in the Revised Version. ‘His glory’ is the flashing brightness of the divine self-manifestation, and in that Light resides the strength which is the standard or measure of the gift to us. The tremendous force of the sunbeam which still falls so gently on a sleeper’s face as not to disturb the closed eyes is but a parable of the strength which characterises the divine glory. And wonderful and condemnatory as the thought is, that power is the unlimited limit of the possibilities of our possession. His gifts are proportioned to His resources. While He is rich, can I be poor? The only real limit to His bestowal is His own fulness. Of course, at each moment, our capacity of receiving is for the time being the practical limit of our possession, but that capacity varies indefinitely, and may be, and should be, indefinitely and continuously increasing. It is an elastic boundary, and hence we may go on making our own as much as we will, and progressively more and more, of God’s strength. He gives it all, but there is a tragical difference between the full cup put into our hands and the few drops carried to our lips. The key of the treasure-chamber is in our possession, and on each of us His gracious face smiles the permission which His gracious lips utter in words, ‘Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.’ If we are conscious of defect, if our weakness is beaten by the assaults of temptation, or crushed by sorrows that ride it down in a fierce attack, the fault is our own. We have, if we choose to make it our own and to use it as ours, more than enough to make us ‘more than conquerors’ over all sins and all sorrows.

But when we contrast what we have by God’s gift and what we have in our personal experience and use in our daily life, the contrast may well bring shame, even though the contrast brings to us hope to lighten the shame. The average experience of present-day Christians reminds one of the great tanks that may be seen in India, that have been suffered to go to ruin, and so an elaborate system of irrigation comes to nothing, and the great river that should have been drawn off into them runs past them, all but unused. Repair them and keep the sluices open, and all will blossom again.

III. The great purpose of this strength.

‘Patience and longsuffering with joyfulness’ seems at first but a poor result of such a force, but it comes from a heart that was under no illusions as to the facts of human life, and it finds a response in us all. It may be difficult to discriminate ‘patience’ from ‘longsuffering,’ but the general notion here is that one of the highest uses for which divine strength is given to us, is to make us able to meet the antagonism of evil without its shaking our souls. He who patiently endures without despondency or the desire to ‘recompense evil for evil,’ and to whom by faith even ‘the night is light about him,’ is far on the way to perfection. God is always near us, but never nearer than when our hearts are heavy and our way rough and dark. Our sorrows make rents through which His strength flows. We can see more of heaven when the leaves are off the trees. It is a law of the Divine dealings that His strength is ‘made perfect in weakness.’ God leads us in to a darkened room to show us His wonders.

That strength is to be manifested by us in ‘patience and longsuffering,’ both of which are to have blended with them a real though apparently antagonistic joy. True and profound grief is not opposed to such patience, but the excess of it, the hopeless and hysterical outbursts certainly are. We are all like the figures in some old Greek temples which stand upright with their burdens on their heads. God’s strength is given that we may bear ours calmly, and upright like these fair forms that hold up the heavy architecture as if it were a feather, or like women with water-jars on their heads, which only make their carriage more graceful and their step more firm.

How different the patience which God gives by His own imparted strength, from the sullen submission or hysterical abandonment to sorrow, or the angry rebellion characterising Godless grief! Many of us think that we can get on very well in prosperity and fine weather without Him. We had better ask ourselves what we are going to do when the storm comes, which comes to all some time or other.

The word here rendered ‘patience’ is more properly ‘perseverance.’ It is not merely a passive but an active virtue. We do not receive that great gift of divine strength to bear only, but also to work, and such work is one of the best ways of bearing and one of the best helps to doing so. So in our sorrows and trials let us feel that God’s strength is not all given us to be expended in our own consolation, but also to be used in our plain duties. These remain as imperative though our hearts are beating like hammers, and there is no more unwise and cowardly surrender to trouble than to fling away our tools and fold our hands idly on our laps.

But Paul lays a harder duty on us even in promising a great gift to us, when he puts before us an ideal of joy mingling with patience and longsuffering. The command would be an impossible one if there were not the assurance that we should be ‘strengthened with all might.’ We plainly need an infusion of diviner strength than our own, if that strange marriage of joy and sorrow should take place, and they should at once occupy our hearts. Yet if His strength be ours we shall be strong to submit and acquiesce, strong to look deep enough to see His will as the foundation of all and as ever busy for our good, strong to hope, strong to discern the love at work, strong to trust the Father even when He chastens. And all this will make it possible to have the paradox practically realised in our own experience, ‘As sorrowful yet always rejoicing.’ One has seen potassium burning underwater. Our joy may burn under waves of sorrow. Let us bring our weakness to Jesus Christ and grasp Him as did the sinking Peter. He will breathe His own grace into us, and speak to our feeble and perchance sorrowful hearts, as He had done long before Paul’s words to the Colossians, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee, and my strength is made perfect in weakness.’

1:9-14 The apostle was constant in prayer, that the believers might be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom. Good words will not do without good works. He who undertakes to give strength to his people, is a God of power, and of glorious power. The blessed Spirit is the author of this. In praying for spiritual strength, we are not straitened, or confined in the promises, and should not be so in our hopes and desires. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength was for sufferings. There is work to be done, even when we are suffering. Amidst all their trials they gave thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, whose special grace fitted them to partake of the inheritance provided for the saints. To bring about this change, those were made willing subjects of Christ, who were slaves of Satan. All who are designed for heaven hereafter, are prepared for heaven now. Those who have the inheritance of sons, have the education of sons, and the disposition of sons. By faith in Christ they enjoyed this redemption, as the purchase of his atoning blood, whereby forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Surely then we shall deem it a favour to be delivered from Satan's kingdom and brought into that of Christ, knowing that all trials will soon end, and that every believer will be found among those who come out of great tribulation.Strengthened with all might - This was also an object of Paul's earnest prayer. He desired that they might be strengthened for the performance of duty; to meet temptations; and to bear up under the various trials of life.

According to his glorious power - Not by any human means, but by the power of God. There is a manifestation of power in the spirit with which Christians are enabled to bear up under trials, which shows that it is not of human origin. It is the power which God gives them in the day of trial. This power is "glorious," or, as it is in the Greek, it is the "power of his glory." It is manifestly the power of the great and glorious God, and it tends to promote his glory, and to show forth his praise.

Unto all patience - So that you may be enabled to bear all your trials without complaining. It is only the power of God that can enable us to do that.

And long-suffering - Notes, 1 Corinthians 13:4.

With joyfulness - Romans 5:3, note; 2 Corinthians 7:4, note. The Syriac version, Chrysostom, and a few manuscripts attach this to the following verse, and read it: "With joyfulness giving thanks to the Father," etc. The only difference is in the pointing, and either reading makes good sense.

11. Greek, "Being made mighty with (literally, 'in') all might."

according to his glorious power—rather, "according to the power (the characteristic of 'His glory,' here appropriate to Paul's argument, Eph 1:19; 6:10; as its exuberant 'riches,' in Eph 3:16) of His glory." His power is inseparable from His glory (Ro 6:4).

unto all patience—so as to attain to all patient endurance; persevering, enduring continuance in the faith, in spite of trials of persecutors, and seductions of false teachers.

long-suffering—towards those whom one could repel. "Patience," or "endurance," is exercised in respect to those whom one cannot repel [Chrysostom].

with joyfulness—joyful endurance (Ac 16:25; Ro 5:3, 11).

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power: whereunto that they might be enabled, it was needful to pray for a power from above, for the best Christians here below are but infirm as well as imperfect, not able to perform what is required of them for doing and suffering the will of God till strengthened: See Poole on "Philippians 4:13", compared with Revelation 7:17. We have here great need of all might, special aids of God, to discharge difficult duties, to mortify strong corruptions, to contemn worldly allurements, to repulse frequent temptations, to bear manifold crosses, and to improve daily mercies, derived from exceeding great and mighty power; See Poole on "Ephesians 1:19". See Poole on "Ephesians 1:20". See Poole on "Ephesians 3:16"; an excellent glorious power, 2 Corinthians 4:7,13, needful to consummate and complete, as well as begin, the work of grace, 2 Thessalonians 1:11; a great reality (and not a metaphor) to sincere converts and sound believers.

Unto all patience; every way to bear the things which come hard upon them or continue long. Philosophy, with all its prescriptions, is ineffectual to form the soul to true patience and contentment under sufferings, it must be given on the behalf of Christ, Philippians 1:29, to a believer, to suffer patiently in tongue and heart, without a prevailing mixture of passion, so that evils do not make all impression upon him, but he doth possess his soul with patience to the end.

And long-suffering with joyfulness; which he could not do with a becoming Christian cheerfulness, when, surcharged with a weight of troubles, he finds himself sinking, if he were not supported with the hands of Heaven, which relieve with present comfort, and raise up to believe a future reward, Matthew 5:12 Acts 5:41 Romans 5:3 1 Corinthians 11:32 2 Corinthians 1:5 Hebrews 11:27 12:10,12 Jas 1:2,4.

Strengthened with all might,.... This is still a continuation of the apostle's prayer for these believers; for having prayed for an increase of spiritual knowledge, and that this might be put into practice, he proceeds to pray for strength for them, that they might be enabled to practise what they had knowledge of; to walk worthily, to please God in all things, to bring forth fruit with patience, to persevere in knowledge, practice, fruitfulness, and in an increase thereof. It implies, that believers are weak in themselves, and insufficient to do or bear anything of themselves, but stand in need of strength from above, even of "all might"; of all kind of spiritual might and strength, proportionate to the various kinds of services, temptations, and trials they are called unto, and exercised with: they have need of every kind, degree, and supply of strength, to enable them to resist the temptations of Satan, to stand against them, and bear up under them; to oppose the corruptions of their own nature, that great company which comes upon them, wars against them, threatens to carry them captive, and destroy them, and against which they have no power of their own; to bear the cross, which, without the presence and grace of Christ, is very heavy, and all afflictions and adversities of every sort, which are grievous to the flesh, and at which it recoils; to perform the various duties of religion, and the whole of the work of their generation; which though they have a will unto, yet often know not how to perform, they want renewed strength their souls; and also to persevere in faith and holiness, and hold on and out to the end: and which strength they cannot expect to have from themselves, or from any creature, but

according to his glorious power; the glorious power of God. Power belongs to God, is a perfection of his nature, and has been, and is gloriously displayed in many things; as in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the upholding of all things in their being; in the redemption and salvation of sinners; in their faith and conversion; in supporting the saints under various trials and exercises; and in the safe keeping them through faith unto salvation: from this glorious power of God saints may hope to be supplied with all might, or a sufficient supply of strength for every service, and for every difficulty; as also from the grace that is in Christ, who has strength as well as righteousness for his people, who is the glorious power and arm of the Lord, without whom they can neither do, nor bear anything, but through him strengthening them, they can do, and bear all things; as likewise from the Spirit of the Lord, who is the finger of God, by whom Christ wrought his miracles; and is that glorious power from on high, with which the apostles being endued, did the wondrous things they did; and it is by the same Spirit that believers are strengthened with might in the inner man:

unto all patience; to bring forth fruit with patience; to run with patience the race set before them; to bear patiently all afflictions and tribulations; to wait patiently for the things promised by God, and for the coming and appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the heavenly glory or hope laid up for them in heaven:

and longsuffering; to be slow to anger, and not easily provoked to wrath; to be ready to forgive injuries; and to bear long, and with patience, all reproaches and persecutions for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel; all which require daily fresh supplies of grace and strength, especially to endure all

with joyfulness, as well as with patience and longsuffering, with a cheerful spirit, or with joy in the Holy Ghost; to esteem reproach for Christ's sake above the riches and honours of this world; to rejoice when counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. This requires strength above that of nature, and a renewed supply of that of grace. This last clause, "with joyfulness", the Syriac version connects with the following verse, reading it, "with joy do ye give thanks", &c.

{3} Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with {g} joyfulness;

(3) The gift of continuance is not from us, but it proceeds from the power of God, which he freely gives us.

(g) It must not be unwilling, and as it were drawn out of us by force, but proceed from a merry and joyful mind.

Colossians 1:11 is co-ordinate with the foregoing ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳΘεοῦ.

ἐν πάσῃ δυν. δυναμ.] ἐν is instrumental, as in Colossians 1:9 (Ephesians 6:10; 2 Timothy 2:1); hence not designating that, in the acquiring of which the invigoration is supposed to consist (Hofmann), but: by means of every (moral) power (by its bestowal on God’s part) becoming empowered. δυναμόω (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 605) does not occur in Greek authors, and is only found here and at Hebrews 11:34, Lachm. in the N. T.; in the LXX. at Ecclesiastes 10:10; Daniel 9:27; Ps. 67:31; in Aquila; Job 36:9; Psalm 64:4. Paul elsewhere uses ἐνδυναμοῦν.

κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξ. αὐτ.] according to the might of His majesty; with this divine might (see as to κράτος on Ephesians 1:19), through the powerful influence of which that strengthening is to be imparted to them, it is also to be correspondent—and thereby its eminent strength and efficacy are characterized (κατά in Ephesians 1:19 has another sense). Comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Php 3:21. And τὸ κράτος τ. δόξ. αὐτ. is not His glorious power (Luther, Castalio, Beza, and others; also Flatt and Bähr), against which αὐτοῦ should have been a sufficient warning; but τὸ κράτος is the appropriate attribute of the divine majesty (of the glorious nature of God). Comp. Ephesians 3:16; Sir 18:5. The κράτος therefore is not the glory of God (Böhmer), but the latter has the former,—and the δόξα is not to be referred to a single aspect of the divine greatness (Grotius: power; Huther: love), but to its glorious whole. Comp. on Romans 6:4.

εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομ. κ. μακροθ.] in respect to every endurance (in affliction, persecution, temptation, and the like, comp. Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 6:4; Jam 1:3 f.; Luke 8:15; Romans 2:7, et al.) and long-suffering (towards the offenders and persecutors), that is, so as to be able to exercise these virtues in every way by means of that divine strengthening. The distinction of Chrysostom: μακροθυμεῖ τις πρὸς ἐκείνους οὓς δυνατὸν καὶ ἀμύνασθαι· ὑπομένει δὲ, οὓς οὐ δύναται ἀμύνασθαι, is arbitrary. See, on the contrary, for instance, Hebrews 12:2-3. Others understand it variously; but it is to be observed, that ὑπομονή expresses the more general idea of endurance, and that μακροθυμία, the opposite of which is ὀξυθυμία (Eur. Andr. 729; Jam 1:19) and ὀξυθύμησις (Artem. iv. 69), always refers in the N. T. to the relation of patient tolerance towards offenders. Comp. Colossians 3:12; Galatians 5:22; Romans 2:4; Ephesians 4:2; also Hebrews 6:12; Jam 5:10.

μετὰ χαρᾶς] is joined with πᾶσαν ὑπομ. κ. μακροθ. by Theodoret, Luther, Beza, Castalio, Calvin, Grotius, Calovius, Bengel, Heinrichs, and many others, including Olshausen, Bähr, Steiger, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Dalmer, so that the true, joyful patience (comp. Colossians 1:24) is denoted. But the symmetry of the passage (see on Colossians 1:10), in which the two previous participles are also preceded by a prepositional definition, points so naturally to the connection with what follows (Syr., Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Estius, and others, including Lachmann, Tischendorf, Böhmer, Huther, Ewald, Ellicott, Bleek, Hofmann), that it cannot be abandoned without arbitrariness. Even in that case, indeed, the thought of joyful patience, which is certainly apostolic (Romans 5:3; 1 Peter 1:6; Romans 12:12; comp. Matthew 5:12), is not lost, when the intercession rises from patience to joyful thanksgiving. Observe also the deliberate juxtaposition of μετὰ χαρᾶς εὐχαριστ.

Colossians 1:11. ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει: “with all power,” ἐν being instrumental. κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ. The equipment with power is proportioned not simply to the recipient’s need, but to the Divine supply. God’s glory is His manifested nature, here as manifested in might.—εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν. This equipment with Divine power is not, as we might have expected, said to be given with a view to deeds of great spiritual heroism, but for the practice of passive virtues, since this often puts the greater strain on the Christian’s strength. ὑπομ. is endurance, steadfastness in face of trials, temptations and persecutions; μακροθ. is forbearance, the patience of spirit which will not retaliate. “The one is opposed to cowardice or despondency, the other to wrath or revenge” (Lightf.). There seems to be no reference in μακροθ., as Alford supposes, to their attitude in conflict with error.—μετὰ χαρᾶς: not to be taken (as by Mey., Ell., Hofm., Weiss, Abb.) with εὐχαριστ., which would be tautological and throw a false emphasis on these words, but with ὑπομ. κ. μακροθ. It forms a very necessary addition, for the peculiar danger of the exercise of those qualities is that it tends to produce a certain gloominess or sourness of disposition. The remedy is that the Christian should be so filled with joy that he is able to meet all his trials with a buoyant sense of mastery.

11. strengthened] “made powerful;” R.V. marg. The same verb occurs in the LXX. of Psalms 67 :(Heb. and Eng. 68.) 28, and some other O.T. passages, and in Hebrews 11:34. A compound of it occurs Acts 9:12; Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Php 4:13.—The three last reff. are a full spiritual commentary on the word here.—The Lat. Versions have confortati; Wyclif, “counfortid.”—Observe that the Greek participle is in the present or continuing form, and suggests a maintained and abiding strengthening.

with] Lit., in.

all might] Greek dunamis; the cognate noun to the verb just rendered “strengthened.” The strengthening was to meet “all” sides and kinds of spiritual need with a corresponding completeness.—For the word in such a connexion, cp. especially Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8 in the Greek.

according to his glorious power] Lit. and far better, according to the power (or might, R.V.) of His glory; in a way worthy of the forces springing from that “glory” of God which is in fact His supreme and blessed Nature in manifestation.—The word “glorious” (in the A.V.) represents similar Greek in the following passages; Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Php 3:21; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 2:13; and these all gain greatly in significance by the literal rendering.

unto all patience] The “all” of result answers to the “all” of Divine supply.

Patience:”—the Greek word rises above, while it amply includes, the thought of uncomplaining suffering. It is a noble word, denoting the endurance of the soul in the path of faith, hope, and love; perseverance, under trials, in the will of God. Cp. (in the Greek) especially Matthew 10:22; Luke 8:15; Luke 21:19; Romans 2:7; Hebrews 12:1; Hebrews 12:7.

longsuffering] Latin Versions, longanimitas, a beautiful and literal equivalent for the Greek. The word “longanimity,” formed on this, and used by the Rhemish translators (1582), was adopted by Bp Jeremy Taylor (cent. 17), but has never taken root in English.—The temper indicated is the opposite to that haste of spirit which gives the man no time, under pressure of pain or (particularly) of wrong, to remember what is due to others, and to the Lord. Cp., for the use of the word and its cognates, Matthew 18:26; 1 Corinthians 13:4, &c.; and, for a soul-moving reference to the “longanimity” of the Lord Himself, 1 Timothy 1:16.—The two words, “patience,” “longsuffering,” occur together, 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:10; James 5:10-11.

with joyfulness] with joy. Cp. esp. Isaiah 29:19; Habakkuk 3:17-18; John 16:20-24; John 17:14; Acts 13:52 (a good illustration here from facts); Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Hebrews 10:34; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:8. Nothing like the Gospel can open the secret of a joy, perfectly real and unaffected, under sufferings and sorrows, and that without the least tendency to blunt sensibility.

Observe the holy paradox of the thought here. The fulness of Divine power in the saints is to result primarily not in “doing some great thing” but in enduring and forbearing, with heavenly joy of heart. The paradox points to one deep characteristic of the Gospel, which prepares the Christian for service by the way of a true abnegation of himself as his own strength and his own aim.

Colossians 1:11. Δυνάμει, with might) Ephesians 1:19; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 6:10.—δόξης, the power of His glory [Engl. Vers. His glorious power]) Romans 6:4.—μακροθυμίαν, long-suffering) Ephesians 4:2.—μετὰ χαρᾶς, with joy) Colossians 1:24.

Verse 11. - In all power being empowered, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness (vers. 24, 29; Ephesians 1:19; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Timothy 1:7, 8; 2 Timothy 2:1, 3, 9, 10; 1 Peter 5:10). The same word is repeated as noun and verb (δύναμις, δυναμόω, power, empower) with a strong Hebraistic sort of emphasis (otherwise in Ephesians 3:16). In all (every kind of) power gives the mode, according to the might of his glory the measure, and unto all patience, etc., the end of this Divine strengthening. "Might" (κράτος), in distinction from power (δύναμις) and other synonyms (comp. ver. 29; Ephesians 1:19; Ephesians 6:10), implies "mastery," "sovereign sway," and, except in Hebrews 2:14 ("might of death"), is used in the New Testament only of the power of God. "Glory," as in Philippians 3:21, bears a substantive meaning of its own, and is not a mere attributive of "might." It is the splendour of God's revelations of himself, in which his might is So conspicuous. Gazing on this glory, especially as seen in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6) and the gospel (1 Timothy 1:11, R.V.), the Christian discerns the might of him from whom it streams forth, and understands how that might is engaged in his behalf (Ephesians 1:19, 20; comp. Isaiah 40:28, 29; Isaiah 42:5, 6); and this thought fills him with invincible courage and endurance. Patience is steadfastness and stout heartedness under ill fortune (not a mere resigned patience); long suffering is gentleness of temper and magnanimity under ill treatment (comp. Colossians 3:12; and see Lightfoot, in loc., and Trench's 'Synonyms'). Christ, in his earthly life, was the supreme example of patience (2 Thessalonians 3:5, R.V.; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 12:3, 4), which is "wrought by tribulation" (Romans 5:4): long-suffering finds its pattern in God's dealing with "the unthankful and evil" (Romans 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:15). "With joyfulness" belongs to this clause (Theodoret, Calvin, Bengel, Alford, Lightfoot) rather than the next, and lends a more vivid force to the foregoing words, while comparatively needless if prefixed to those that follow (so, however, Chrysostom, Erasmus, Meyer, Ellicott - "with joy giving thanks," etc.). This paradox is genuinely Pauline, and arises from personal experience (comp. ver. 24; Philippians 1:29; Romans 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 1:4-8; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10). Colossians 1:11Strengthened (δυναμούμενοι)

Only here in the New Testament, but found in Septuagint. The compound (ἐνδυναμόω to make strong) is frequent in Paul, Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12.

Power - might (δυνάμει - κράτος)

See on 2 Peter 2:11; see on John 1:12.


See on Romans 3:23.

Patience - long-suffering (ὑπομονὴν - μακροθυμίαν)

See on 2 Peter 1:6; see on James 5:7.

With joyfulness

Compare Colossians 1:24; James 1:2, James 1:3; 1 Peter 4:13. Some connect with giving thanks, Colossians 1:12, and this is favored by the construction of the previous clauses: in every good work bearing fruit: with all power strengthened: with joy giving thanks. But Paul is not always careful to maintain the symmetry of his periods. The idea of joy is contained in thanksgiving, which would make the emphatic position of with joy inexplicable; besides which we lose thus the idea of joyful endurance (Colossians 1:24) and of joyful suffering expressing itself in thanksgiving. Compare Romans 5:3.

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