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Romans 15:32

ESV so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.
NIV so that I may come to you with joy, by God's will, and in your company be refreshed.
NASB so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and relax in your company.
CSB and that, by God's will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you.
NLT Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.
KJV That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

What does Romans 15:32 mean?

Paul has asked the Christians in Rome to strive with him in prayer for three very serious requests about his upcoming trip to Jerusalem. He was going there to deliver financial aid given by Gentile Christians (Romans 15:22–25).

His first request was that he would be delivered from the Jewish religious leaders who wanted to kill him. His second request was that the gift he was bringing would be received by the Jewish Christians.

God answered both prayers, though God's answer to the first request did not likely come as anyone would have expected. Paul was indeed attacked by a murderous group of religious Jews and would likely have been killed. He was rescued by Roman soldiers—who arrested him (Acts 21:27–36). Paul ended up spending the next two years in prison!

That only delayed the answer to Paul's third request found in this verse. He asked his readers to pray that, by God's will, he could come to them with joy and be refreshed in their company. This did eventually come to pass, in a sense, though Paul traveled to Rome as a prisoner and was shipwrecked along the way. That saga is found in Acts 27–28.

God always answers the prayers of His people. Sometimes He says no. Sometimes He says yes, but in entirely unexpected ways that we could never anticipate. Paul's life demonstrates that God often does not follow our idea of what He should do, even as He acts for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
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