|SCRIPTURE TEXT: “So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.”–Ephesians 3: 13(NLT) |
Why should Paul’s suffering make the Ephesians feel honored? If Paul had not preached the Good News, he would not be in jail—but then the Ephesians would not have heard the Good News and been converted either.
Just as a mother endures the pain of childbirth in order to bring new life into the world, Paul endured the pain of persecution in order to bring new believers to Christ. Obeying Christ is never easy. He calls you to take your cross and follow Him; “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me”(Matthew 16:24 ) —that is, to be willing to endure pain so that God’s message of salvation can reach the entire world. We should feel honored that others have suffered and sacrificed for us so that we might reap the benefit.