Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:7-14
“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, whole created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:9-10)
At the time of writing Ephesians, Paul was imprisoned. He was suffering for the sake of the gospel. However, he tells the church in Ephesians “not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory” (Ephesians 3:14).
How could Paul stand firm even though he was being persecuted for his ministry? Would it not be easier for Paul just to give up and live a normal life?
Firstly, Paul perseveres because he knows that his ministry was a gift of God’s grace given by the working of God’s power. Paul calls himself “the very least of all the saints”. Paul was a persecutor of Christians. He murdered people who followed Christ. Yet, on the road to Damascus, God himself stopped Paul in his tracks and turned him to become an instrument for the gospel. This was a free gift. It was a gift of God’s grace Paul would never fully comprehend. Because of Christ’s death and sacrifice, a murderer was turned into an evangelist. This was the power of God at work.
We might not have been a murderer. However, our hearts were sinful and rebellious against God. There is no way God should be pleased with us. There is no way we deserve grace. Yet, he has miraculously changed us. He has made us new for a purpose; to serve Him. And so, take heart.
Second, Paul perseveres because He understands that as he endures to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ and shed light on the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God (the plan for Christ to come and die), God is putting on a display for His manifold wisdom and glory to the whole cosmos. God’s ultimate purpose for the church is so that everyone, human, angel, demon, can see and witness God’s glorious wisdom as He plucks unworthy sinners from their sin and bestows them undeserved love and grace through Christ. God was working through Paul’s ministry and Paul’s life testimony to show His manifold wisdom to every living creature that existed.
God ultimately wants to show His glory to everyone. His glory is the best and most wonderful thing anyone could ever imagine. Because of His love, He wants us to share in that. Jesus came and died so that God’s glory is revealed. Souls are being saved so that God’s glory is manifested. We are called to be servants so that God’s glory may be shown through our lives.
And so, take heart. Even though there may be suffering and the road may not be straight. Trust that God is working to reveal His manifold wisdom to the whole cosmos as we learn to serve God. Maybe to reveal God’s glory, we must endure suffering and pain. But, in the end, will that matter if God’s glory gets to radiate through our lives?
We were created to glorify God. God is working to reveal His glory through us and through the church, which continues to expand to this day. Take heart.
Lord, thank You for the glorious vision of Your work written in Your Word. Forgive me when I fail to gaze up at Your ultimate plan. Help me to trust in You and persevere in serving You. Thank You that You have a plan for me, and You are working to reveal Your glory through my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.