Don’t be discouraged

I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of the Gentiles ….

You do know, I hope, that to me was given the responsibility of extending God’s grace to the Gentiles. As I’ve already said, that secret was made known to me by revelation. And when you read this you will be able understand what I now know about God’s plan – a plan which was not revealed to previous generations, but has now been show by the Holy Spirit to the apostles and prophets. And it is this: through the good news of Jesus Christ, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel in the family of God. They are both members of one body and thus inherit together the promise that is in Christ Jesus.

By the kindness of God and his power, I’ve been appointed as a servant of the gospel. Though I’m the least of all God’s people, this privilege has been given to me – to tell the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had previously kept secret.

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and his faith, we can now approach God in freedom and confidence. So please don’t be discouraged when you hear about my trials here, because my suffering is for your glory.

It’s because of all this that I kneel before the Father, who created everything in heaven and on earth, and pray that out of his glorious riches he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit, so that Christ dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that your roots will go down deep into God’s love and keep you strong. Then you will have the power to understand, with all of God’s people, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you know this love, though it’s really too great for anyone to know fully, so that you are filled to the brim with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to do infinitely more than we could ever ask or think, be glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.


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