Our scripture this morning is Philippians 1:3-11.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Scholars tell us that Paul most likely wrote this letter while imprisoned in Rome, awaiting his trial before the emperor. Although his situation is hard, he shares joy with the church at Philippi for their faith. He reminds them of the gift they have received in Jesus and that they must wait in confidence for Christ’s return.
Have you ever received joyful support from someone undergoing hard times? It makes me ashamed of my complaining over small things to be encouraged by one who is suffering. Paul tells the congregation that he is uplifted by the demonstration of faith they are living out, even as he is denied liberty and justice.
There is little the Philippians can do to help Paul physically or in his defense regarding the charges brought against him. However, they lift him up in prayer, which is sometimes all we can do for others in difficult circumstances. Never underestimate the power of prayer in our lives, while it may be “all” we can do, it is the most powerful aid we can give.
Heavenly Father, we know You hear our prayers for each other and that You are always aware of our needs. Help us to be strong in faith and continue to pray for each other until Jesus returns for us all. Amen.