Struggle with Christ’s Strength for our Maturity

Dan Sullivan   -  

[28] Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. [29] For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. [1] For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, [2] that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, [3] in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 1:28,29–2:1–3 ESV
Look at what Paul is struggling in and what he wants for the churches of Laodicea and Colossae. He is struggling to warn and teach them with wisdom so they will be mature. Not only is he struggling, but he is struggling with Christ’s energy that works in him! That maturity looks like the things in this list:

Encouraged hearts
Knit together in love
Full assurance of understanding Christ
Full knowledge of Christ

Paul is working to make sure they are taught thoroughly about Jesus so that they can encourage one another, be united together in love, and be full of the right teaching and know Jesus Christ.
If you look at the things people complain about or fear, many of the things on this list wipe those fears away. If I know my friends love me because of Christ and not because of my performance for them, we are knit together. I don’t have to change myself to fit in. If I am confident of the living God being true and being all of the things He says He is in the scriptures, I can be encouraged and encourage others.
The last two are where the rubber meets the road. You can have full assurance of the truth of Christ, but you’ll need to be reminded of it tomorrow. You can know a lot about Christ today, but there will be new things to learn as you go. The full assurance and the full knowledge are both ongoing activities. We encourage each other daily (Hebrews 3:13) because the process of growing in knowledge has no finish until we are in the eternal kingdom.
What are things that cause your struggles? What would happen if instead of struggling against this temptation or that sin you struggled to build encouragement, maturity, and knowledge and assurance of Christ. You were recreated in Christ to struggle in His strength to build the Church. Put off the struggles of this world and take on the struggle of the Gospel of peace and watch what happens.