Ephesians 3:1 "I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus"
Ephesians 3:13 "I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings"
- In my suffering I trust that Christ is in CONTROL
- Ephesians 3:1 "I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles"
- 1 Peter 2:19 "It is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God"
- Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer"
- In my suffering I receive GRACE
- Ephesians 3:2 "God's grace was given to me for you"
- Ephesians 3:8 "Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me"
- Ephesians 3:12 "Through faith in him we may approach God with freedom (boldness) and confidence"
- Hebrews 4:16 " Approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need"
- In my suffering I serve the GOSPEL
- Ephesians 3:7 "I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power"
- 2 Timothy 2:9 " I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained"
- Ephesians 6:19-20 "Pray for me...that I will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I proclaim it fearlessly"
- In my suffering I remember god's PROMISES
- Ephesians 3:8 "The unsearchable riches of Christ (Romans 8:28; John 16:33; Romans 5:3)
- Psalm 119:50 "My comfort in my suffering (troubles) is this; your promise (your word) preserves my life (revives me, gives me new life)"
- 1 Thessalonians 1:6 "You welcomed the word in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit"
- In my suffering I focus on the needs of OTHERS
- Ephesians 3:13 "I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory"
- Philippians 1:7 "I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me"
Read Ephesians 3:1-13
(1) What things do we sometimes allow to imprison us? What has helped you see the Lord in your suffering?
(2-3) How has grace empowered you to serve the gospel?
(4) What are some of the promises of God's word that help you when suffering?
(5) What was Paul's concern for others? Who has shown concern for you in your troubles? Pray for those who are suffering.