Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, Philippians 1:3-4 NLT.
People love to think about those who bring joy into their lives. Sometimes, these people are not famous or notable but there is something about them that draws you to them. You remember that day when you felt like you were the biggest failure in the universe and that individual took the time and spoke to you. It changed your focus from all the things that had gone wrong and redirected your focus on the positive things in your life. So, you remember that person with joy.
Here the Apostle Paul was thinking about the believers in the Philippian Church and it brought thankfulness into his heart. There would be some who would remember the experience in Philippi and be resentful. They would recall the abuse they experienced after doing the work of God. When Paul remembered that experience, he gave thanks to his God, because the establishment of a community of faith occupied his thoughts. Somewhat like a new mother after a very painful childbirth experience. If you run into that mother with her baby she would not tell you about the birth, she would tell you about her baby.
But, he didn’t stop there, there was more; he prays for them. The best place to remember someone is in the place of prayer. Things happen when God’s people pray. The Apostle Peter was in prison; they secured him between two soldiers. The next day he was supposed to be placed on trial. Peter was so confident in his God that he went to sleep. While he was sleeping, the church was praying. An angel was dispatched to deliver Peter from prison. He said, Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. Acts 12:8. Peter was removed from the prison. God answered their prayer.
It’s easy to understand why Paul remembered this church with joy. He was not thinking of his environment; he was in jail but he was talking about making his requests for them with joy. That is such a powerful example! He was not focused on what was happening in his life; instead, he chose to focus on what God was doing. When you can take your eyes from your issues, you too can experience that joy as you fix your eyes on Jesus.
Thought for Today: Friend, focus on the things that bring joy.
Have a blessed day and walk in faith and victory.