17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. (Galatians 6)57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Life is hard, very hard sometimes, but there is a freedom that Believers in Jesus Have that cannot be touched. The word Trouble, in this context means“to cause toil or trouble,” to embarass a person by giving occasion for anxiety, as some disciples did to the woman with the ointment, perturbing her spirit by their criticisms, Mat 26:10; Mar 14:6; or by distracting attention or disturbing a person’s rest. There comes a time in life where we begin to really unpack the many treasures that are ours as Followers of Jesus Christ. We have suffered enough in our lives, and for our faith, that we have learned to take no thought for what others think of us, but only what Christ says. It is a freedom that is ours the moment we become believers, but it usually takes years to rest in its reality.
Paul is saying here, that He bears the marks of someone who has suffered for Christ, who belongs completely to His Lord and Savior. Vines Dictionary of Bible Words describes it this way: “It is probable that the Apostle refers to the physical sufferings he had endured since he began to proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Lord. I have those brand-marks of Jesus, and so do all of us as believers. I believe our sufferings are as unique as our personalities. No one person’s suffering is any better or worse than another’s. God knows what we each have to endure and need to become, and only suffering can produce certain things in our lives. For me, personally, I bear literal scars of anxiety upon my body. The Greek Word here is Stigma, and figuratively means “scars of service.”
I cried out to God many times in my life, to take this struggle with Anxiety away from me. He has not chosen to do so, but this anxiety has driven me to Him, to His Word, to my knees, and I am grateful for it. I would literally “pick” at my arms, ect. when I would worry over matters and it has left many scars. I felt so embarrassed by these marks, until one day God told me that I should not feel ashamed of them, that this Anxiety disorder, that these scars, were actually the “Birthmarks of His Love and Grace.” It was my Anxiety that drove me to seek for someone I could fully trust and believe in. People had always failed me, But God never has. He has confused me in what He has allowed to touch my life, but He has never, ever failed me.
So look at your own life, Dear Believer, and you will see that you too, bear the Brand-Marks of Jesus. You, too have scars of Service. You too have “Birthmarks of His love and grace.” Wear them with joy, that God loved you too much to let you continue in destructive patterns. Wear them boldly, and let no one trouble you anymore, as Paul said. Let no one cause you grief, with their lack of understanding about such things. Let Jesus pour His ointment on those scars and soften them. Let Jesus be the only One you let have The Final Word in your life. Live honestly and openly before Him alone.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15)