Week 5. Friday: Glorious Suffering
PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.
READ: Ephesians 3:12-13
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words
In Him (Greek: en hos): by him, with him
Through Faith (Greek: dia pistis): through confident and constant conviction
God gives us the gift of faith so we can approach Him, but also for many other reasons: to make us righteous and justified (Romans 3:22; 5:1), to make us His children (Galatians 3:26), to save us (Ephesians 2:9), to put Christ in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), to shield our salvation to the end (1 Peter 1:5).
Approach (Greek: prosagōgē): to bring or move toward, to gain access
This comes through faith as a result of being justified by God (Romans 5:1-3).
Because God has justified us, we are now acceptable to Him.
Freedom (Greek: parrēsia): boldness, ability to speak freely, openly, honestly
Confidence (Greek: pepoithēsis): trust, reliance (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19)
Discouraged (Greek: egkakeō): to lose heart (1 Corinthians 4:11-12)
Sufferings (Greek: thlipsis): trials, tribulations, pains
Here Paul is specifically referring to being in prison while he’s writing.
Suffering is required for our sanctification (the process of being made holy). That process is found in Romans 5:1-5.
Paul’s response to suffering is found in 1 Corinthians 4:1-8.
Your Glory (Greek: sy doxa): leading to a greater state or condition
APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?
This passage states that through our faith in Christ we can approach a holy God with freedom and confidence. In light of that fact, we can also find peace in whatever suffering we may experience. Paul says that his sufferings were for the glory of others. If Paul hadn’t experienced so much suffering in his missionary journeys, he would have never learned how God uses suffering in our lives. The same is true for all of us. Suffering is required for spiritual growth.
What suffering have you experienced in your life?
What did you learn? What spiritual growth did you experience?
PRAY: Ask God to help you have freedom and confidence, even in suffering.