Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.
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. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1: 1 – 11
- God, the source of our confidence
- When we trust in the Lord we place all of our confidence in him.
- Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.
- So to say that our confidence is in the Lord it’s because we believe that we can completely rely on him for everything.
- Psalm 71: 5 – 6 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
- We are so quick to put our confidence in others before the Lord.
- We make our close friends and family our confidants and rely on them for advice and guidance.
- We run to counsellors and professionals for help.
- This isn’t bad as receiving godly counsel is a good thing.
- The problem is when our confidence is primarily on people and not in the Lord.
- Even when receiving godly counsel, we need to take it to the Lord to allow him to be our ultimate guide.
- Besides putting our confidence in others we can so easily put our confidence in ourselves and in our own experience.
- How often we hear people talk about a very talented non-believer saying that if they come to know the Lord then the Lord will be able to use them mightily!
- That isn’t the Spirit talking. That’s the flesh. It’s putting confidence in natural talent rather than in the Lord.
- Did God not choose the weak and foolish of the world to shame the strong and wise so that he would get the honour and glory due to his name?
- Paul had many reasons to put confidence in the flesh, but he didn’t
- Philippians 3: 3 – 4 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
- He goes on to list all the reasons why he could put confidence in the flesh.
2. Prayer demonstrates confidence in God and not in ourselves.
- Paul writes about prayer four times in these few verses.
- Prayer is focused on God and conveys the message that we rely completely on him for all things.
- A prayer of thanksgiving is gratitude for our confidence in him having been place in the right place as he has come through for us in the past.
- Prayer is continuous and with joy. Joy because of what God has accomplished and joy because we’re confident of what God is going to accomplish.
- Continuous because the moment we stop praying we start putting confidence in ourselves rather than in God.
3. Confidence in the completed work of God
- Why did Paul have confidence that he who began a good work in the Philippians would bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ?
- His confidence was in the faithful character of God.
- His confidence was in the already completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
- When Jesus said, “It is finished” his work was done.
- When God starts a work in the believer, who has received him by faith, the started work is based on the completed work making the work of God in each of our lives as good as completed.
- It is in this hope that we trust God throughout our lives.
- This is the good news – the Gospel – in which we are partners in this world. Together we walk in this confidence for our lives, for our fellow believers, and for those who the Lord will still bring into his fold.