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YOU, IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD, ARE OUR JOY
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy."
(I Thessalonians 2:19-20 NKJVhttps://www.bible.com/bible/114/1th.2.19-20.nkjv)
Elsewhere Paul recounts having survived shipwreck, being beaten to the verge of death and other such trials and indicates his rejoicing at being worthy to suffer for the name of Christ. As he said, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18 NKJV)
However, his personal hope, joy, crown of rejoicing and glory was not found in his suffering, his renown as a preacher, facing down the Judaizers, effectively refuting the pagans at Athens or any other such achievement. No, his greatest pleasure was found knowing that his spiritual children will stand in the presence of Jesus, and be approved by Him, in the last day. So may mine be.
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