Refreshing the Spirit
Refreshing the Spirit
Words of Faith 8-15-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Corinthians 16
 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you.  For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
There was one last word of gratitude that Paul needed to express before signing off. Fortunatus and Achaicus--mentioned here for the first time-- were, along with Stephanas, probably the ones who brought the letter referred to in 1 Corinthians 7:1. Paul did not take the long journey and effort for granted. We was extremely grateful for their effort and presence with him. It has refreshed his spirit.
This delegation had "supplied what was lacking" and brought about a refreshing. Their coming had surely encouraged Paul. This may have been a result of fellowship and personal time together. It may have also been due to good reports of the Lord's faithfulness on the journey. The meeting of missionaries who are like-minded believers in a world of paganism was surely a cause for rejoicing. There is something about fellowship with believers who are committed to same Lord and Christ that gives a refreshing to the spirit.
This visit may have also been an encouragement because it signaled that the Corinthians were willing to ask Paul's advice. Paul had probably heard about the difficulties going on in the Corinthian church. The fact that leaders were now submitting a specific list of concerns to be addressed was a great encouragement. The only real problems are the ones we fail to face. So these travelers "refreshed his spirit" and the spirit of the Corinthians also in that they were willing to go to Paul. The Corinthians would be refreshed when the three men got back home and told of their visit to him.
By their very presence, three men from the Corinthian church were able to encourage Paul despite the fact that they brought confirmation of the bad news earlier reported by Chloe's people. True fellowship works that way. Even if there is bad news, the Spirit of the Lord in fellow believers refreshes the spirit. There is hope. There is encouragement.
Paul concluded by saying that such men deserve recognition. People who are willing to carry the burdens and travel for the sake of answers. Men who are will to come and refresh others, are deserving of recognition. There is little scripture guiding us toward a focus on accolades, but here is a precedent for the appropriate recognition.
Do you have a place of deeper fellowship? You do not get it in corporate worship as wonderful as that is. It is not available on television. You do not get it with just family or in larger groups. Deeper fellowship is with just a few. It is honest about problems and frank about solutions. This is refreshing. It energizes believers to move forward. It renews strength for the journey ahead. This was the gift that Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus brought to Paul and they did not even know it.
Father God, draw me into deep fellowship. Draw me into relationship with believers that can walk closely with me and I with them. Draw me into a place where problems are not a problem because we can trust that You are in charge and will get us through. Refresh me, O Lord by the presence of Your Spirit and the fellowship of believers. In Jesus' Name.