Imagine being in a distant land, far away from family and friends, only to find yourself in prison. Would this be a joyful time for you? Well, that is the exact situation that the Apostle Paul finds himself in as he writes the book of Philippians. Philippians is one of four prison epistles (the others are Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon) that Paul writes while under Roman house arrest near the end of his life. Yet, what is amazing about this book is that its theme is Joy! Yes, JOY! After undergoing an arrest in Jerusalem, two years in Caesarea facing Feliz, Festus, and Agrippa, Paul appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome. And it was here under house arrest that Paul communicated this message of joy.
Having his life rooted in Christ and not the things of this world, Paul is enabled by God to live above his circumstances and find true joy in knowing Christ and living a Spirit filled life. This joy is reflected in his labors for the gospel ministry as he speaks with great joy about what the Lord has done, is doing, and will do in his life and in the life of the Philippians.
In our verses today, Paul looks back on his fond remembrance of the Philippian church, takes joy in praying for them, praises God for their partnership in the gospel, rejoices in his confidence of God, and relays his pastoral affections to the congregation there at Philippi.
Rev. Adam Mumpower, Senior Pastor