But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.Philippians 4:10(NASB)
"Rejoice" is a word that Paul loved to use, and here in the book of Philippians he uses it 10 times in four short chapters. He rejoiced when the gospel of Christ was proclaimed and he rejoiced that he did not labour in vain. He rejoiced that he was poured forth in the sacrifice and service of these believers and he rejoiced in the Lord always ..and was not ashamed to say it again - "rejoice in the Lord!!"
As always, Paul used every opportunity to strengthen the Philippian believers, encourage those that laboured with him for the gospel of Christ, and entreated them all towards good works and holy living. He knew that the joy of the Lord was their strength, and that the secret of possessing the peace of God was to be anxious for nothing, but in everything to pray to the Lord, and give thanks to our heavenly Father, for His goodness and grace.
He knew that their joy would evaporate if they did not fill their hearts and minds with all that is pure and lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy - and Paul knew that only those that imitated his Christ-centred life, and stood firm on the glorious gospel of grace - with thanksgiving, would experience the precious peace of God, which passes human understanding, and be equipped to rejoice in the Lord in every situation.
The last time that Paul used this joyful word - REJOICE, in his letter, was when he admitted, "but I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now, at last, you have revived your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity."
Paul was rejoicing, because the believers at Philippi had recently sent him some financial aid during his incarceration in a Roman prison. God had ministered to Paul's need through this gracious gift of love, which the Philippian church had sent to him through Epaphroditus, one of their members.
Paul never ever asked for financial help from any of the churches he planted, nor did he expect them to provide for the necessities of his life. Rather, he made his needs known to the Lord, through prayer and praise. Paul trusted God to provide all he required, according to His riches in glory - and so should we.
Over the years the Lord had trained him to be content in all things, no matter what his material situation was. Paul had learned that the secret of being content in all things, was to trust in the Lord with all his heart, not rely on his own abilities, nor the reasoning of other people, but to rejoice in the Lord - always.
Paul rejoiced to receive the gift of financial aid, knowing that this little group of believers had not forgotten about him in his absence, but had united to consider his trying circumstances, and had shown godly concern for him, by arranging for one of their congregation to visit him with some daily supplies.
It was not so much the value of the gift that Paul received which caused him to be joyful, but knowing that by blessing him - these Christians would be blessed of the Lord, themselves. It was through their loving gift that God met Paul's needs.. and Paul knew that this godly gift would add to their blessing in time and spiritual rewards in eternity.
God, in His grace, has also promised to supply all our needs, and has given us the privilege of prayer and praise - both personal and corporate. May we learn to trust Him in all things, to depend on His provision entirely, and not feel the need to look to others for financial help or the other necessities of life. And may we develop the gift of gracious giving to others, and rejoice when the Lord, in His goodness, meets their needs - through the gifts he has given us.
Heavenly Father, what a joy to recall how Paul rejoiced in You in every situation, and recognised Your hand of blessing through the gifts he received from others. Give me a grateful heart for those You use to supply my needs, and use me I pray, to help provide for the needs of others, to Your praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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