Tribulation for a Cause

Ephesians 3:13-16

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

We all know that Paul went went through some terrible tribulations. His trials are amazing Shipwrecked three times, stoned, beaten and left for dead are just a few things he talks about.  I’ll never go through anything like Paul went through. And now he’s sitting in a Roman prison writing his epistle to the Ephesians. He never stopped on his mission. Even when he was in prison, he just kept ministering to people and proclaiming the love of God. It is said that many Roman soldiers who were guarding Paul became Christians because of his witness and testimony.  Lord let me have a testimony like that!

He tells the Ephesians not to worry about his tribulations – don’t give it a second thought. God has been faithful to bring him out of every one of them so there is no reason to fret about being in prison.  He knew God would bring him out. Paul says that the tribulations that he goes through for the Ephesians are for their Glory, so they can boast in the Lord about the good things that He  has done. Their testimony ties in with Paul’s testimony! Our testimony is a powerful thing to share with others.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Paul says for this cause (his tribulations) he bows on his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  How many of you still bow down on your knees when you pray?  Right now I can’t get down on my knees because my leg strength is just not there yet. But I need to learn to be on my knees before God, not only worshiping him and honoring him, but to give him my prayer request. This is a preferred position to God. I believe He hears us no matter what posture we take, but He appreciates it when we honor Him by being on our knees before Him. And we should be praying in Jesus name – that name draws God’s attention.
And then he starts talking about the family of God.  The whole family is named after Jesus Christ. It’s all about Jesus. He is a preeminent figure in the church and in the family of God.  We are even named after Him –  Christ and Christian. This family doesn’t only include us on Earth but it also includes those in heaven.  We’re all a part of one big family. I can’t wait to meet some of those 15th century saints, like Fenelon, Madame Guyon and Martin Luther, and just chat. Won’t that be fun!

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Paul says that he hopes God will grant them strength with might by the spirit in their Inner Man. Oh how we need his strength and his power in our lives today.  There are mountains in the way of Christians. There are mountains in this country. There are mountains in this state. There are mountains in this neighborhood. We need to come against these mountains with the strength of the Lord and say be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea. It is so important that we exercise the power of God that’s within us. He will grant it to us by the riches of his glory. And God will receive the glory when we are victorious.  But we must engage in the battle first! Our God will not be glorified if we do not accomplish the things that He has left us to take care of. I must always be about my Father’s business.

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