EPHESIANS‬ ‭3:7-13‬‬‬

“By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.”

Ephesians‬ ‭3:7-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In modern western Christianity, we trend toward playing the victim and believing that the difficult situations we are in are a result of the impersonal force of the universe being malevolent toward us. But Paul notes the truth in his brief treatise. The correct interpretation is that he is the least qualified for the honor of his suffering. He doesn’t deserve it. Not because he didn’t earn suffering but because this type of suffering is not a consequence but a privilege. It is a privilege to be an example of Christ to the watching world. The discomfort that is brought is a mere snapshot of what Christ chose to endure. The outcome of such suffering, that brings glory to God, should not be possible to one who persecuted God and his body. Therefore, to be in prison, in like manner with those who follow Christ, is not mere suffering. It is suffering with a purpose. It is testimony. It is grace to be counted as a part of the work of our savior. Paul’s mindset is so foreign in the modern era.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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