Even though Paul was in prison, he still labored and struggled for all the believers whom he brought to the Lord or shepherded while he visited their respective city. In Col. 2:1 he says
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those in Laodicea, even all who have not seen my face in the flesh,
Paul labored so that Christ would be formed in the believers(Gal. 4:19), so that he might present each man full grown in Christ(Col. 1:28) – he struggled according to God’s operation which operated in him in power(Col. 1:29). In order to be a vital and living person and to bring others into a living relationship with the Lord Jesus, there is a struggle and a labor! Becoming a vital believer with the Lord and with the other saints takes time – it is a long-term even life-long process. It is not impossible though, as difficult as it may seem – nothing is impossible to Christ, the Overcomer! Many times when we look at ourselves, we don’t see “too much growth” – but the Lord as the seed of life is growing every day in our being! We are daily advancing and growing by enjoying the Lord Jesus, eating Him as the tree of life and drinking Him as the water of life, praying over His Word and calling on His name, and fellowshipping with Him about everything.
May the Lord direct our hearts into the love of God and into the endurance of Christ(2 Thes. 3:5). This endurance in Christ, the endurance of hope(1 Thes 1:3), is the long life of our faith – through such an endurance we can subdue any disappointments and discouragements, and we can also overcome any oppositions and obstacles! This endurance, which comes from our faith and is actually Christ Himself as our endurance, consummates in fulfilling God’s purpose, the New Jerusalem! Our hope is in the Lord’s coming, and this hope enables us to suffer persecution & to endure any kind of treatment. Christ is our hope – the hope of glory in us(Col. 1:27) – and by His mingling of Himself with us, we are filled not only with life, energy, joy, peace, grace, happiness, etc. but also with hope. We are filled with Christ as our hope daily as we enjoy Him, and that’s how we go on…