A Note from Our Pastor:
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, // Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, // That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”Ephesians 3:14-16
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In the preceding verse, the Apostle has told his readers that he has a great desire they not become weak in the face of the tribulations which Paul was suffering. He knows they recognize preaching the gospel to them is the cause of his tribulations, but he is encouraging them to stay strong in the faith.
He continues those thoughts in these verses. He says he prays for them that they might be strengthened day-to-day as they move forward through their lives. He tells them the resilience to continue in the faith will come from God through the working of the Spirit.
Paul in these verses is praying a very specific prayer for a very specific people, but there is a beautiful lesson that we can take from these verses and apply to our own lives today.
While the tribulations Paul and those at Ephesus were enduring were unique to their circumstances, facing hardships and challenges in life is something every believer in every generation has tackled. The obstacles in life look different for different people — for some it might be financial struggles, for others it might be chronic pain, for others it might be mental illness, for others it might be long-term disease, for others it might be heartache with children, and for many it is a combination of multiple things. Regardless of the specific circumstances, we as disciples of Christ are not promised an easy path.
The lesson we take away from this verse is God will strengthen us for those trials through the Holy Spirit. What we have to be careful to take note of, is the Apostle does not say he will remove the trial or that he will strengthen us in some outward way. Rather, he prays for those at Ephesus and we should pray in like manner that the inner man be strengthened.
With any strengthening, it requires work on our part. We cannot expect the Holy Spirit to strengthen our inner man, strengthen our soul, without us engaging as well. In order to do that we must find joy in the midst of despair, we must find love and show love in the midst of anger, we must find peace in the midst of tribulation, and we must find Jesus and his mercy in the midst of apathy. Our outward situation might continue to make us weaker in the body, but it is our choices that will determine if we become weaker in spirit.
Let us lift each other up in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen our inner man and let us walk worthy of the calling we have been given.
Our Prayers are with you daily,