Paul's Ministry: Suffering

David Sterk

READ : Colossians 1:24
John 15:18-27

Karrie suffered a lot of pain in order to bring her baby into this world. Carrying the baby meant long weeks of inactivity. More than once she made late night trips to the hospital. It was an extremely difficult delivery. It was touch and go for a little while. But the result was a beautiful baby girl. It’s funny, but the moment Karrie held her new baby in her arms, the memory of the pain began to disappear. The pain seemed like nothing in comparison to the joy of her baby.

Today Paul describes his ministry of love among the Colossians and the suffering he experienced on behalf of the church. He knows first hand that ministry will always include suffering. But Paul declares that he is glad to suffer if it results in building up the church of Jesus.

A Sunday school teacher experienced a string of serious personal tragedies, one after another. One of his students took him aside and said, “I wouldn’t wish on anyone what you’re going through. But you know something? You are a much better teacher by going through this tough time.” Jesus left no mistaken illusion as his servant you will suffer. God will use your suffering to build up the church.


Father, give me work to do that will lift up the life of someone else. Amen.