For more information and resources on Ephesians, go to my Ephesians page.
Hi, I’m Cody Sandahl.
I knew a woman who, if Protestants had saints, she would be on the short list of nominees. She had an incredibly deep faith. She had brought many people to Christ by her deeds and words. She was universally respected in our church and by the thousands of people who knew her around the world. She had been a part of praying for and seeing miraculous healing in others. But now she needed that miraculous healing herself. Cancer.
Those thousands of people around the world rallied in prayer for this saintly woman. And after a few months she had a vision of being overwhelmed by a brilliant light, and she woke up feeling differently. She proclaimed to everyone who would listen that she had been healed. She and her husband joyfully went to the doctor to confirm what they already knew. And as the doctor came back into the room with the test results, he shared the news: the cancer was worse than it had ever been. It was untreatable. She wasn’t healed.
As I read Ephesians 3, I see that Paul is a prisoner, someone who has suffered greatly and is suffering still. And like this saintly woman I knew, it’s not because he’s offended God. His suffering wasn’t a result of God’s wrath, and neither was my friend’s. Paul and my friend had plenty of people praying for them, but they still suffered.
I know some people who think when life is going great it’s because God is rewarding them. And when the stuff hits the fan God is punishing them. But I don’t see that line of thinking in Ephesians 3. I see that the faithful – like Paul – sometimes suffer even when they’re following Christ very closely. And despite that suffering, he encourages the church in Ephesus to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”
When you’re suffering, do you still know the love of Christ? When someone you know is suffering, can you still see the love of Christ?
As you read the third chapter of Ephesians, think about the times you have experienced or witnessed suffering. Where was God?
Enjoy chapter three!