For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 NIV
Paul starts this passage off with a question. What is our hope, joy, or the crown in which we will glory when the Lord returns for us? I wonder how often we think of that as we go through our daily lives. As believers, we expect we will someday die and go to heaven. It is our hope, we expect it to be a place of joy, and we sing about wearing a crown. But Paul’s question implies more than that.
Indeed, we will have joy in the presence of our Lord. But what is that joy? What is the crown we will glory in? Paul’s answer to this, for himself, is that it is the people who made up the Thessalonian church. His joy and crown would be the people whose lives he had impacted as he served the Lord.
I believe what was true of Paul is just as true for the rest of us who follow Jesus. Few of us will have the impact that Paul did. But all of us do have the opportunity to minister to other people, making a difference in their lives. And our joy and crown when the Lord returns for us will be those whose lives we have touched (Matt. 25:31-46).
Look to make a difference in people’s lives today. Rejoice in the opportunities you have to impact another life positively. It may not seem too significant now. But it will when our Lord returns for us. Those lives will be our glory and joy in the presence of our Lord.