"You shared in my distress."
Text: Philippians 4:14
A DEEP SENSE OF FELLOWSHIP
In the beginning of his epistle to the Philippians, the apostle Paul wrote to say that he thanked God for the fellowship he had with them (Philippians 1:5). We now have a deeper understanding of this “fellowship” he wrote about.
“Nevertheless you have done well
that you shared in my distress.”
1. “In my distress”
a) The word “distress” is sometimes described as “tribulation” (Greek “thlipsis”).
b) In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul listed a good number of things that may be called “distress”.
c) Paul was of course prepared in heart and mind to suffer for the cause of Christ.
d) Nevertheless there were times when the ministry may indeed be described as “distressful”.
2. “You shared in my distress”
a) The word “shared” has the same root word as “fellowship” (Greek “koinonia”; Philippians 1:5).
b) The word used in this text is even more significant (Greek “sugkoinonesantes”).
c) A preposition is added to the original word as an “intensifier”.
d) The Philippians “shared deeply” with Paul in his trials and tribulations (“distress”).
e) This was the kind of fellowship that Paul thanked God for especially.
3. Features of this special fellowship
b) Personal expressions (sending of Epaphroditus to minister to Paul)
c) Practical support (sending of gifts)
a) The word “nevertheless” is a simple conjunction (Greek “plen”).
b) Paul linked his words of commendation with the kind deeds of the Philippians.
5. “You have done well”
a) Paul commended the Philippians for the support they had given to him.
b) It was not so much the gift but the “sharing” that meant a lot to Paul.
c) Their support in times of distress was even more deeply appreciated.
d) This commendation came from a deeply grateful heart.