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Ephesians 3:13-21

November 12, 2017

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:13-21

Topic – The discouragement that often accompanies suffering.

Paul … “Don’t be discouraged because of what I am going through.”

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”

Paul had received word that some of the saints in Ephesus where discouraged by his detainment, perhaps questioning the love of God and their continued faith in God.

Maybe they were asking the same question that many in Texas are asking, “How could a loving God allow such a tragedy?” –OR- “Why doesn’t God do something?”

Maybe they were concerned that if this happened to Paul, would they, could they escape the same.

DISCUSS THE RIGHT ATTITUDE FOR SUFFERING …

1. God’s grace is sufficient in suffering (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

2. Recognize the positive personal results of suffering (See Romans 8:28, Acts 5:40, 41)

3. Recognize the practical benefits of suffering for others (Ephesians 3:13)

4. Remember that suffering is temporary (See Romans 8:18)

The greatest resource in suffering is PRAYER

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named”

The Apostle’s Prayer for the Ephesians

1. “That he (the source) would grant (Hebrews 4:16) you, according to the riches of his glory (the storehouse Philippians 4:19), to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man”

Thank God that He doesn't leave us to our own ability to navigate safely and successfully the storms

To successfully navigate through the storms of life we must be filled with the Spirit.

2. “That Christ may dwell (to be at home) in your hearts by faith”

Not saving faith, but sustaining and sanctifying faith. The ability to trust God for the situation you are in and the ability to see you safely to the other side… that Christ would rule over your fears and frustrations.

3. “… that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge”

“rooted,” an agricultural term – deep roots sustain the plant through dry times, heat, and against strong winds

“grounded” a building term – a strong foundation can withstand the storms of life (the parable of the houses built on sands and a solid rock).

Here Paul is saying, when your life is built on the reality of Christ’s love for you, you can withstand whatever the devil and the world bring to you.

4. “… that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

That the believer be able to experience God’s powerful presence to the fullest (a hint to those struggling with the trails and tribulation in life that God’s power and presence is experienced, enhanced in times of trouble.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

Get it … believe it … live it: God is able, it doesn’t matter the severity of the storm, it doesn’t matter the size of the giant … it doesn’t matter who or what … God is able

According to the power, His power, which is already at work in us (See Ephesians 1:19-21).

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

The plan of God is, has always been, and will be, to be the recipient of glory through your lives, in the good and the bad, by Jesus Christ. God will never do anything to jeopardize His glory.


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Atkins First Baptist Church

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201 N Church St
Atkins, AR 72823

www.atkinsfbc.com

(479) 641-2693