Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. Philemon 1:7
The source of our joy in the Bible is usually Jesus and what he did to give us eternal life, but Paul also talks about people who bring him joy. This is his purpose in this verse which is directed to Philemon, a leader in the church at Colossae who had a church that met in his house. Notice that Paul is joyful for Philemon, not for what he had done for Paul, but for the fact that Philemon’s kindness had refreshed the hearts of other Christians. Philemon had been following the second commandment Jesus spoke about loving one another,and Paul takes great joy in this.
Who do you know that brings you joy, that warms your heart by what they do for God’s people? The first one that comes to my mind is Franklin Graham and his organization Samaritan’s Purse. Graham begins a letter with this verse “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” John 9:4-5 These are Jesus’s words. Franklin Graham and his organization go where the problems are and help the people. He is in Europe helping the Syrian refugees, and he is in Syria, often right in a war zone, helping the refugees there. I read how an elderly woman in Syria was living in a tent with winter coming on with only one blanket to keep warm. Graham brought her a heater and more blankets. It warmed my heart and brought me joy.
Do you know missionaries? Through Facebook, I got reacquainted with a friend from high school and found out she and her husband, David and Joanne Mount, were missionaries. They had just returned from a mission to help children in South Africa. Looking at the pictures of the children they had helped brought me great joy.
This is my friend with some of the children. The Missionary there is called JAM So Africa. What joy to think how she has helped so many and undoubtedly led many to Christ.
We can’t all be missionaries, although some can. If God calls you to the missionary field, don’t think of saying no. If He calls you, He will provide the way. We can’t all send money to help missionaries, but if you can, send it. I often send just $5.00 at a time, but it brings me great joy. One thing we can all do is pray for missionaries, someone you know or an organization you have only heard of. Become a prayer warrior for them. Find their website, and read up on what they are doing. Share their website on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or wherever. Share what you have learned with your church and enlist other prayer warriors. The more you do the greater will be your joy in their work. The links above will take you to the missionaries’ websites. That might be a good place to start. I pray you will find someone who can bring you joy because they are using their kindness to refresh the hearts of God’s people. And I pray that God will help you find ways to be part of this process. Then, you, too, will bring others joy as they see your kindness refreshing the hearts of His people.