“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Separated. Suffering. Uncertainty. Isolated.
That's where we find Paul writing from in Philippians. This book was written from prison to his dear church family in Philippi. He is facing uncertain fate, and far from the people he loved.
Yet these first few verses are all about what we have in Christ Jesus, and so upbeat it's hard to imagine him writing from prison. In Christ we have grace, His daily gifts and blessings. We have peace from God. God is our Father. We are His saints. And mostly, we are Christ's bondservants, and He is the Lord.
Paul addresses them with words like joyful, thankful, affectionate. He reminds them that God WILL continue His work in them. Because no matter what is going on in our lives, God is at work, He has a plan.
In times of uncertainty and isolation it's easy for us to give up and throw in the towel. To wallow in our despair. But God calls us to remember that life is not all about us. It is about Jesus. He is still “the Lord Jesus Christ!” And He is still working in us.
Let's ask God to help us keep our eyes and heart on Him. To submit to His Lordship. To receive His Grace and peace. To be truly aware of our blessings in Christ. And to be aware of the work that He is doing in us and through us .