I thank my God every time I remember you.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
Paul was a man who loved his Saviour. He was filled with joy when others came to a saving faith in Christ and he rejoiced when sinners were transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. This letter to the Philippians was one of six epistles that Paul penned while imprisoned in jail, but his joy in the Lord could not be diminished by his many incarcerations, and this servant of God would not allow self-pity to mar his joy.
Every time these dear believers in Philippi came into his mind, Paul offered up intercessions and prayers of thanksgiving and praise for their great salvation. “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you,” he wrote, “and from the first day until now, I continuously make prayer requests for all of you… with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel.” Paul was confident that the good work that God had started in the life of each believer would be brought to fruition in the ‘Day of Jesus Christ’ - that time when He returns in the clouds, to take us to be with Himself.
Paul understood that without Christ he was nothing - but that he could do all things through Christ, Who strengthened him, for His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. And Paul rejoiced with great joy when he remembered the Christians who had received the glorious gospel of grace, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and started their lifelong journey towards spiritual maturity and Christian understanding. How he rejoiced to know that these believers in Philippi were growing in grace and gaining a mature knowledge of Jesus.
It must have been a great joy for the Philippian Christians to receive and read this encouraging epistle from Paul. It must have been encouraging to know that despite being imprisoned in Rome for the sake of the gospel of Christ, he cared so deeply for each one of them… that he prayed faithfully for them and was deeply and genuinely concerned about their ongoing, spiritual welfare.
Paul was the vessel God chose to take the good news of the gospel of grace to the Gentiles. And what a wonderful example he is, of a man whose love for the Lord Jesus was demonstrated through his caring concern for those who had been brought to a saving-faith in Christ. How wonderful it would be if we would all cultivate the same love for the saints and compassion for the Body of Christ that we see in Paul. Should we not all seek to keep one another in joyful remembrance and regularly lift up the body of Christ in prayer and supplication - with thanksgiving?
Memories of Christian brothers and sisters should be bathed in love and grace, forgiveness and faith, care and compassion, joy and thanksgiving. Supplication should always be accompanied by joyful thanks and grateful praise. The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength, and joy in the Lord should flood our beings when we remember all that He has done for us all and the good work that He has started in each of His blood-bought children.
In a depressed world that is increasingly focussed on ‘self’, how important to rejoice in the Lord always, to remember that our blessings come to us continuously from God, to be increasingly thankful for the brothers and sisters He has placed in our path and to lift up one another in prayer and praise with grateful thanks and gracious hearts.
No matter what trials and tribulations may pepper our pathway, may we develop the same mindset that Paul demonstrated, in his letter to the Philippians. May we use every opportunity to gossip the Gospel, to encourage one another with hymns and prayers and spiritual conversation… and may we always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in our heart.