-This blog is from Chris’ book, Changing My Mind. You can buy a copy HERE. #EpilepsyAwarenessMonth #November #Epilepsy #1in26
We were studying a series of the most-often quoted verses of the Bible. My plan was to clarify the context and grasp the true meaning. So instead of just memorizing and quoting Philippians 4: 13, we helped the audience notice the full scene. I didn’t expect to notice so much. Paul related to hurt and disappointment. But look at his attitude from Philippians 4: 10-19 (NIV):
“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Paul didn’t just rejoice. He rejoiced greatly. What was his reason for rejoicing? Had they released him from prison? Had God finally answered his prayer and healed Paul’s thorn in the flesh? No. Paul rejoiced because his Philippian friends renewed their concern for him.
That makes me feel better. I’m tempted to join the rejoicing. When others encourage me and pray for me, a sense of rejoicing hits my inner world. Paul welcomed their care and rejoiced. He knew they cared for him even when they struggled to show it. Given an opportunity, they showed their concerns.