PAUL WROTE PHILIPPIANS from prison. Most of us would grumble and complain. A Roman Prison was not a pleasant place. Bad food, surly companions, filth, rats, vermin, stench, poor lighting, beatings, torture, etc …
Yet, in these circumstances, Paul writes the most amazing letter. It is a letter of joy. It is filled with exhortations to thanksgiving and gratitude. It contains commandments to not yield grumbling or complaining. Why? God is sovereign and God is good. Read the following texts and be amazed.
(Philippians 1:3–4) “3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,“
(Philippians 1:18) “18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,“
(Philippians 2:14) “14 Do all things without grumbling.“
(Philippians 2:17–18) “17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.“
(Philippians 2:28–29) “28 I am the more eager to send [Timothy], therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,“
(Philippians 3:1) “1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.“
(Philippians 4:4–6) “4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.“
(Philippians 4:10-11) “10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me….I have learned whatever situation I am in to be content.”
God gave Paul grace to rejoice and be thankful in horrendous circumstances. This should encourage us to hope that he will do the same for us in our time of need.