The average number of people that we interact with on a daily basis is probably larger than what many think. All the people you speak to at work, home, church, the store, gas stations, and online are a part of your life, and the number of those people could be hundreds every day. Now ask yourself: how many of those people you find yourself thankful for? The number will drastically drop because in our life only the truly influential people or those we have deep connections with are the ones we are thankful for.
Paul begins his introduction to the epistle of Philippians by letting the church know that every time he remembers them, he thanks God for them and finds joy in praying for them (Philippians 1:3-6). Like Paul, we might often find ourselves remembering some people in our lives. We could remember the ones who have treated us wrong, but more likely, we will be thinking about those who have done us right. Those that bring us joy are easy to remember. When that takes place, we should have a desire to thank God for them and pray for them. As a believer, who are you thankful for? Who do you often think of and pray for?
In verse 5, Paul provides the reason for the joy he has when remembering the Philippians, the reason for his thankfulness. From the first time he met the Philippians (Acts 16) until Paul's present circumstances, the Philippian church aided in the spread of the Gospel. They had this joint fellowship or partnership (koinonia) with Paul, and this shared purpose and the actions that were taken to fulfil it provided Paul with joy and a reason to remember them. In our callings and in our daily lives, we also have partnerships. Are we linked together in purpose with those who are doing right? When we think of them, are we joyous? Who do we fellowship with?
Following the reason for his joy, Paul turns to the Philippians' future. He has confidence in God, a trust and belief that the salvation that started in them will continue until Christ's return. He prays for them, but he has no need to worry about them. As believers, the Philippians' salvation is assured as God works in their life. For the people in our life whom we pray for and are thankful for, we too should trust in God's sovereignty, in God's providential hand to direct their life. What more reason does one need to be thankful unto God? There isn't one.
As we consider all the people in our life and bring them to remembrance, we should thank God for them, pray for them and trust that God will preserve them until He comes again. May we rejoice in the work of the Lord, in the salvation of our brothers and sisters, and remain thankful.