Summary: 23rd in a series from Ephesians. God uses suffering for our benefit and for the benefit of others.
When Mary and I went to Kauai for our 25th anniversary, I came across a t-shirt that was imprinted with Kimo’s Kauai Rules. In fact, I liked the t-shirt and the rules so much that I not only bought the shirt, but when I returned from that trip I also preached a series of ten sermons based on the ten rules. But you can imagine what that shirt came to look like after five years of frequent wear. So, I was excited to pick up a new shirt on our trip last month.
When I first came across the rules I tried to do some research to determine who originated the rules, but that was a more difficult task than I imagined. The only thing I know for sure is that a company called Night Owl T-Shirts copyrighted the rules in 1991. In fact, you may be able to see their copyright on the back of my shirt. They have also registered a trademark for the last rule and tagline: “No rain – No rainbows.” The owner of the company, Rita Peeters says the list of 10 sayings was handed over to Nite Owl for reproduction in 1991 by Kimo Krogfoss, philosophy professor and frequent visitor to Kaua‘i. However, there is also some evidence the rules may have come from an unpublished novel by Charles Knief about a Honolulu policeman and his family titled Kim’s Rules.
So unfortunately there is really no way to know if the originator of the rules was a Christian. But it sure seems to me that the rules certainly reflect Biblical principles. Here are the ten rules:
1. Never judge a day by the weather.
2. The best things in life aren’t things.
3. Tell the truth – there’s less to remember.
4. Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.
5. Goals are deceptive - the unaimed arrow never misses.
6. He who dies with the most toys - still dies.
7. Age is relative - when you’re over the hill, you picked up speed.
8. There are two ways to be rich - make more or desire less.
9. Beauty is internal – looks mean nothing
10. No rain - No rainbows.
That last rule, which has also become the registered tagline, certainly could have been written by the Apostle Paul. In fact, that may very well be a pretty good summary of the verse we’re going to look at this morning as we continue our journey through Ephesians. Let’s read that verse out loud together:
I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Ephesians 3:13 (NIV)
This is another one of those verses that is actually pretty straight forward, but I’d like to share with you a few observations about suffering that come from our understanding of this passage.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ABOUT SUFFERING
1. As a follower of Christ, I will experience suffering
Paul began this chapter by describing himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus”, a reference to the fact that he was a prisoner in a Roman jail. But I don’t think that Paul was surprised at the trials he was experiencing. After his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared to a man named Ananias and used him to deliver a message to Paul:
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."