Ephesians 3:8-13 God gave his grace to me, the least of all God’s people, to preach the good news about the immeasurable riches of Christ to the Gentiles. God sent me to reveal the secret plan that had been hidden since the beginning of time by God, who created everything. God’s purpose is now to show the rulers and powers in the heavens the many different varieties of his wisdom through the church. This was consistent with the plan he had from the beginning of time that he accomplished through Christ Jesus our Lord. In Christ we have bold and confident access to God through faith in him. So then, I ask you not to become discouraged by what I’m suffering for you, which is your glory. 


This passage reminds me of an ongoing conversation God and I have, “Why are you sending me into ministry? Don’t you know there are better people out there?” I would venture to guess that you are in a similar boat. You may not be asking why you’re in ministry as a vocation; but you may be asking why you are in a certain life situation. You may also think to yourself that you do not deserve to be able to do what you do. Whatever it is that goes through your mind, God has a plan for you.

Paul was heading on a completely different life course when he was struck down by a bright light. This was his vocational shift period that he realized what God would have him do with his life. Remember, Paul was going to arrest those who followed Jesus and all of a sudden, God made Paul change his life purpose to be an evangelist to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). Or was it all of a sudden?

Sometimes I think the things we go through are situations that God wants us to go through so that we will be better equipped to handle the future plans He has for us. We always have to freedom to do things our way; but when we learn and follow the plans God desires, we will actually find more fulfillment. Not safety. But joy and peace and a filling of the spirit. I can look back on my life and see the different things I did, right and wrong, and see now how that experience is helping me today. Others may not ever see their life circumstances tie together, but God is somehow using our past to shape us for the future.

There has always and will always be a plan for your life and for my life. Jesus Christ is that plan. When we accept Christ, we allow him to transform us and become new creations. Our past does not define us; it only shows us where we have been. Our future does not define us. We do not know what will happen. Jesus Christ is our present who gives us new life and redeems our past so that we can live, not just in the future, but now in the present. God has a plan for your life. How do you find out this plan? Ask God and spend time with people who will lead you on the path to God through Jesus Christ.

You are valued. You have worth. You have a purpose. Trust God.


Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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