Paul has such faith in Christ that he is sure he will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” and that he has no reason to fear death. Death is gain because he will see the one who gives his life meaning face to face.
But until then Paul finds meaning in life here and now. He finds meaning in his work and in his relationships. Paul’s work is spreading the Gospel, planting churches, and providing continuing pastoral care and leadership for the churches. He is confident God still has work for him to do, and he will continue to find meaning and joy in his work.
Most of us are not apostles, but if we are Christians two things are true: One we all have a part in sharing God’s love with those who cross our paths, especially those for whom we have a responsibility. Second, any honest work can be a holy calling, a vocation through which we may benefit others and glorify God.
Paul’s work involved people whom he came to love deeply. He found meaning in those life-long relationships with fellow believers in cities all around the Mediterranean world.
He also found a sense of satisfaction in what God had accomplished through him. Paul often speaks of boasting and pride in a paradoxical sense. He knows pride is a sin that is associated with arrogance and jealousy. But he also understands that one can boast in the Lord, and so he is proud of what the Lord has accomplished through him.