“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)
Whenever I come across an amazing story of how a saint endured hardships, it encourages me. I remember reading about Watchman Nee and his imprisonment. The Chinese government would change the guards at his cell daily for fear that Nee would lead them to the Lord. Their fears were justified – many of those guards did come to faith! Apparently Watchman Nee had learned a powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul.
In Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus, observe how .he describes himself – an ambassador in chains. Locked away in a prison, Paul adamantly refuses to allow his circumstances to dictate or alter his identity. He may be in chains, but he remains the Lord’s ambassador.
Can you imagine Paul chained up in that dungeon, throwing up his hands saying, “That’s it; it’s over; I’m finished!”?
Not on your life! Instead the apostle grows bolder as an ambassador; not intimidated or ashamed, because Paul isn’t chained in his Spirit, he’s only bound in the flesh. Remember how he concludes his letter to the Philippian Church declaring, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Those of us coping with chronic pain and illness must constantly remind ourselves that the Lord’s strength is always available and using this strength, we can be ambassadors for Him even as we cope with the frustrations of life. We must strive to never let our circumstances keep us from serving Him.
Don’t allow yourself to be defined by your past, or “chained” by your current circumstances. God has also called you to be an ambassador for Him. With so much work to be done, we ought to be growing even bolder, right in the midst of our trials and tribulations!
About the Author:
Patricia Armstrong lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She prays that God will help those dealing with difficult circumstances to find way of serving Him that will joy to their lives.