I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Ladicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wish and knowledge. I will tell you this so that so no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
This is one of Paul’s letters written while he was in prison. There are different kinds of chains. Paul may be bonded in prison, but yet he was not bonded spiritually. Even in prison, he still has an incredible spirit. In life, we should never discourage each other. It is better that we encourage one another. We are all made in the image of God and should love one another and appreciate each other’s differences. When we are knit together, it is much harder for the devil to get to us because it makes it ten times more difficult. Humans are quite fragile, but are strong in Christ. All the wisdom and knowledge we have comes directly from God. Salvation is a free gift from God, but intimacy is not. We need to seek out intimacy to have a relationship with God. Some people have a bigger passion and love for God than others. Some choose to follow God and others don’t choose that path. That is why intimacy is not automatically a free gift from God. Christ is our gift to salvation and if we choose to let him be a part of our life, we will make it through any hardships we may be going through.