Prayer is the most basic expression of faith. Faith in future grace purchased by Jesus says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things” we need (Romans 8:32).
So the question for pastors: What will you do when ministry doesn’t turn out like you expected? If the church disbands, or the elders fire you, then what? I hope you don’t walk away from the church, the truth, or the faith.
In Paul’s reasoning, it’s personally beneficial if he dies because then he gets the ultimate treasure, Jesus! However, if he lives, he can keep encouraging, strengthening, and equipping the church, which is better for them. So Paul’s question moves from “What is the best decision for me?” to “Do I choose what is best for me or what is best for the church?”