None of the believers was excluded from Paul’s prayers. Coming from a prisoner, this is especially significant. It was with joy that the apostle also besought God on their behalf. Paul’s hardships made him better, not bitter. They always do one or the other to a child of God.
The Philippian saints and Paul were partners in the things of the Messiah. This was true because they shared with him in his need. They gave of themselves to Paul and in turn to the cause of Jesus for which he labored. But not only did they share with him in his need as a prisoner. They had also fellowshipped with him from the first day they trusted the Messiah. This brought great joy to the apostle’s heart.
Great confidence gripped the apostle as he thought and prayed for the Philippians. The perfect tense of the Greek word translated being confident indicates that Paul had come to a settled conviction earlier and that he still was confident it was true. What was he so confident and sure of? It was that God would most certainly continue to completion the good work He had begun in them. That good work was their salvation. It may also have included their fellowship and sharing of their bounties with Paul.
Paul had no doubt that God would continue in the Philippians what He had begun to do in them. God would work in them until the day of the Messiah Jesus. In 2:16 Paul called this “the day of the Messiah.” Though Paul did not know when that day would occur — when all believers would be caught up to meet the Lord in the air — he did know that God would continue the work He had begun in His own children.
That brings great joy to me as a disciple. That is truly good news.
- Philippians 1:4–6 —Always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the good news 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 the Messiah Jesus.
- Acts 11:23–24 —Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Master; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Master.