"Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus Christ that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more" (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
There is only one calamity for a Christian, this being disobedience to God. All the other things, such as loss of property, exile, peril of life, Paul does not even consider a grievance at all. And that which all dread, departure from this life to the other world – this is to him sweeter than life itself. For as when one has climbed to the top of a cliff and gazes on the sea and those who are sailing upon it, he sees some being washed by the waves, others running upon hidden rocks, some hurrying in one direction, others being driven in another, like prisoners, by the force of the gale. Many are actually in the water, some of them using their hands only in the place of a boat and a rudder, and many drifting along upon a single plank or some fragment of the vessel, others floating dead. He witnesses a scene of manifold and various disasters. Even so he who is engaged in the service of Christ draws himself out of the turmoil and stormy billows of life and takes his seat upon secure and lofty ground. For what position can be loftier or more secure than that in which a man has only one anxiety, “How he ought to please God?”