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, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The path by which Paul ended up in Philippi was curious and informative. Curious, because Paul and his companions had thought to go into southern Asia during their second missionary journey, but were prevented from doing so. In the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia inviting them to “come on over and help us.” You can read that account in Acts 16:1-10.
Paul’s path to Macedonia (and thus Philippi) is informative because of the significant blessings Paul experienced from the people of that city. Paul’s first encounter with Lydia proved to be momentous: Philippi was the site of the first convert/church on European soil. And despite his imprisonment there, Paul’s encounter with the Philippian jailer was the occasion of an entire family being brought into the kingdom of God. Now years later the love he has for this church and people still marks their relationship. Their love for him and the mission of God is seen in their financial gifts mentioned in this letter.
This is a reminder for me personally as we had hoped that our first call for an associate pastor would be accepted and a partner in the mission of God would be on board with us at St. John perhaps by Easter. That not being the case (having learned recently that he declined the Call to St. John), I am waiting to see who God brings to help us pursue the rule and reign of God in Cypress, Texas. I wonder who is seeking to go elsewhere when God’s path is to have him come to Cypress. I am confident that God has begun a good work at St. John, and look forward to what he has in store for us in the future here.
It may be that you are experiencing a similar disappointment. Whether it is finding the right job, a future spouse, a balance of health, or a best friend, the hand of God guides to places of blessing and goodness.The people of Philippi became people of blessings that were unanticipated and unplanned from Paul’s point of view. But God’s intent is always to bless and bring us to a good place. When we seek his rule and reign, we seek a good thing, and he will guide our steps accordingly.
Read Philippians 1:1-11