What Did Paul Receive?
Paul is someone who poured out his life on behalf of those to whom he ministered. He spent his post-conversion life serving others and spreading the gospel. He truly emptied himself in the example of Jesus Christ. But don’t think for a second that Paul didn’t receive anything. At times he received financial resources from the churches to help with his ministry. But way more important than that is what we read that he received from God on behalf of the Thessalonians. Let’s read verses 6-10: ”6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you— 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?” In verse 9 Paul writes that he has great joy over the Thessalonians. I think that the presence of joy can be very underrated. I’m no Paul but I routinely spend time thinking about and praying for those who I’ve had a chance to impact; and it brings me great joy. I encourage you to take time to “receive” some things from God. Receive joy for your impact in the lives of those you serve, especially as it relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Regularly doing this allows you to reflect and also to recharge yourself for the difficult days of ministry.