Pleased In Another’s Pleasure

One of the most dominant themes in Paul’s prayers was thanksgiving.

Romans 1:8

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Philippians 1:3

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

1 Corinthians 1:4

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 1:15-16

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

Philippians 1:3-6

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete  it  until the day of Jesus Christ;

Col 1:3-5, 1 Thess 1:2, 2 Thess 1:3, 2 Tim 1:3 and Philemon 1:4-5 also show his gratitude.

image

He gave thanks to God always because of the report of the members of his audience. When we give thanks, we are grateful about something that fills us with joy- something that makes us happy. And to Paul, the thing that made him happy always was the increase in faith of the people that he would write to. At times- as was the case with the Roman church (Rom 1:13) and the church down at Colosse- he had not even interacted with his audience, but he was still happy about their growth.

We know that we are also happy when our loved ones are genuinely happy. Because this growth in faith was not something that was directly linked with Paul that he may rejoice about it as if it were his doing, we learn that it must have been linked to a Person whom Paul loved and knew. This growth must have been something that was the pleasure and will of Another other than Paul; an Another whom Paul knew and cherished.

So who, apart from Paul, would be so pleased with a growth in the faith of Paul’s audience? Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith  it is  impossible to please  Him,  for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and  that  He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” and Colossians 1:10 says “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing  Him,  being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” We know that the knowledge of God is eternal life(Jn 17:3), which comes from believing(Jn 3:16); and this believing(faith in Christ), comes from hearing the Word(Rom 10:17)]. We see, therefore, that the growth of faith is the pleasure and will of God.

Paul was pleased by people’s growth in faith, which is actually a thing that really pleased God. From this, we see Paul’s love for God reflected. Paul loved God so much that what God willed he also willed and delighted in. And so we find that loving God will actually drive you into rejoicing over what He wills. How much do you love God? How happy are you when other people come to salvation- when they grow in faith? Are you aloof and indifferent or does it excite you when you see the growth of individuals and the Church generally?

May God grant us the grace to love Him more and more so that what makes Him smile makes us smile as well:)

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~ by paintbrush89 on May 29, 2013.

2 Responses to “Pleased In Another’s Pleasure”

  1. Thy joy of the lord is my strength

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