Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 4

God provides for his people

Philippians 4:11

Paul was very glad to receive the gifts that Philippi’s Christians had sent to him (4:10). Of course, Paul was grateful for their help; as a prisoner, he was very poor. However, Paul had not written that because of his difficult situation. Paul wrote that because of his joy to see the evidence of the love that Philippi’s Christians had for God (4:17-18). They had given to Paul because of their deep love for God; and Paul knew that God would accept their gift.

Paul was not worrying about his own circumstances because he was trusting God to provide for him. He did not need the Christians to give to him; he was not depending on their gifts. He had learned, from his experience in his work for God, that God could provide for him in many different ways. He did not need wealth, comfort or luxury, because God could give him the strength to live without these things (4:12-13). So Paul was content to live in whatever circumstances God provided for him.

Paul was not saying that he did not need the other Christians (compare 1 Corinthians 12:21-27). That would be a very proud attitude, which would not please God (Proverbs 16:5). Rather, Paul was truly grateful to them. They had allowed God to use their gifts in order to help Paul. So Paul knew that God had given him kind, generous and sincere friends in Philippi. He did not merely consider them as his helpers or supporters of his work. Rather, they were sharing with him in everything that God gave him to do (1:7; 4:3; 4:14-15). They were partners with him in this great work of God.

Next part: How to be content in every circumstance (Philippians 4:12)


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