Paul had suffered many of the most terrible experiences that are possible for a person to suffer. However, he did not consider these to be terrible experiences. Paul suffered great pain, but his attention was not upon his pain. Paul did not need anyone’s sympathy; rather, he considered that God had given him a wonderful life.
If Paul felt sad, it was not for himself. Paul felt sad because people opposed God. He felt sad because they did not know the greatness of God’s love for them. However, Paul himself knew the greatest joy*. He was so grateful that God had shown such kindness to him*.
Paul’s happiness was not for himself alone. As Paul travelled to different places, he was often very poor *. However, Christ promised a wonderful reward to those who gave up their property or family for him*. That was Paul’s experience. To him, who had no family*, God gave vast numbers of ‘children’. Those ‘children’ meant the people in every town who became Christians because of Paul’s work*. Paul saw them as rich because they have true wealth in heaven*.
Paul had nothing, but as one of God's humble people, God had promised the world to him*. God has a wonderful plan for his people*. All things are theirs*.
If a person could work for God for his whole life without any reward, that would still be worthwhile. Even if that person had to suffer much, they would not suffer in vain. However, God does reward his loyal servants. Like Paul, they can know great rewards even in this life. However, their reward in heaven will be much, much greater*.
Next part: We should obey with willing hearts (6:11-13)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.