The Apostle Paul wants us to rejoice. He uses that word abundantly through out Philippians ( 1:18, 1:26, 2:16-18, 2:28, 3:1-3, 4:4, 4:10). Which is strange considering the context. We know that he is in chained next to a Roman guard (1:13-14). We also know that some are preaching Christ and are envious of Paul and want to add affliction to his imprisonment (1:15-16). So where does all this rejoicing come from?
Paul is confident that God will finish what he started in the believers at Philippi (1:6). He has found what it means to be content (4:12-13). He knows that even while he is chained to Roman guards, he is guarded by the peace of God (4:7) His rejoicing is tied to his certainty that God is in control of his circumstances. He recognizes that he has been placed there for a purpose and that perhaps the gospel would go out through the Roman guard through his witness (1:12-13).
As I write this I can’t help but rejoice over God’s timing and placement (it certainly isn’t always our own). The Philippians knew that God could use Paul in jail, that’s partly how their church got started (Acts 16). With Philippi being a Roman colony, there were perhaps many there in the church who would have known (or known of) some of the folks that Paul was chained to.
FATHER, We rejoice in your sovereignty. We are grateful that we can pray for your Kingdom to Come and your will to be done, knowing that you are actively arranging all things to that purpose. We rejoice in you in all circumstances. We rejoice to know that you have allowed us to be in certain places as certain times for the sake of the gospel. Give us eyes to see the opportunities that are ever before us. We rejoice to see your hand order our world today. Thank you for the grace of leading your congregation. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.