For Your Joy

Rod Shimabukuro


But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. 2 Corinthians 1:23-24


The more I read the opening words of Paul (v 1-11), my faith and hope for the church is unshaken (like Paul’s v7) The description of suffering is not detailed but as I pay closer attention to the tone of Paul’s words, I realize how life threatening and excruciating the hardships were for him and the disciples around him. So burdened that they despaired of life itself?! Yet the afflictions the Corinthian Christians were experiencing were real, as they were in need of support.

This backdrop leads Paul to seriously affirm his commitment to the church. I wonder if abandonment and neglect were felt among leadership and others in Corinth? Were they feeling let down, let go? Out of sight - out of mind?

“...but we work with you FOR YOUR JOY, FOR YOU STAND FIRM IN FAITH.”


I can’t imagine nations, leaders, people - down to refugees, families - to churches, Christians - even other religions... FEEL NEGLECTED IN HARDSHIPS! In France’s case - they are declaring war - it seems whether or not other nations stand with them or behind them. They are “standing firm in their faith (in their country and military...)” so to speak.

To bring it home - I know people who have experienced hardships, who feel abandoned, neglected by their very own...the church. Corinth felt this way about their very own...Paul.

I don’t want to live, talk, act - even think in a way that gives people the “smelly scent” of uncaring neglect. I don’t want my spiritual leadership to be seen or sensed as one usurping authority for “my vision’s gain.”

I know people “smell” when they are being used or maneuvered into doing, giving, helping, serving, leading... for “my or man’s agenda!” Is it for MY JOY or THEIR JOY - that I serve and lead? Is it for my benefit, paycheck... or for the benefit of the people God places right in front of me - that I live and serve?


O GOD! I want to live, work, serve, lead, shepherd people for their joy in Jesus - not mine! Help me to teach them to stand firm in faith and to trust in You - through Your Word! I know I need to be the example of selflessness! Help me to lead by example.

I have a long way to go - yet not enough time it seems for me to be at the place where I feel competent enough. Maybe this is where You want me - a place of humility and trust in You - not in my acts of righteousness and self confidence! Thank You Godhead - 3 in 1! I Love You!

Devotions for November 15

Job 41,42
2 Corinthians 1,2

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