Philippians 2:24

Friday, 20 January 2017

But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly. Philippians 2:24

Paul had just previously indicated that it was his hope to send Timothy to him immediately, and at a time when he had determined his own fate. Now he continues with this thought with the word “But…” It is less of a contrast than it is a complement to what he just said. For this reason, it is often translated as “And” instead of “But.”

His next words, “I trust,” show that he has expectations which he feels confident will come about. In chapter 1, he indicated his surety that he would be released in accord with the Lord’s will for him. This is repeated now with a confidence that is “in the Lord.” The tenor of his words shows that his state of confidence – not just in this matter, but in his every thought – was in complete harmony with his faith in the Lord. As surrounded by the air he needed to breathe, so he was surrounded in his surety of the Lord’s presence around him and guiding him.

Finally, his trust in the Lord was a confidence “that I myself shall also come shortly.” His decision to send Timothy was to be carried out as soon as word concerning him was given. It would be as if a runner was sent with news from the battle lines ahead of the returning army. After that, and as quickly as his affairs could be set in order, he intended to follow after Timothy to join the brothers at Philippi.

It could also be that Timothy would be told to visit other churches, quickly carrying the message of Paul’s release from one to another. In time, he would make a slower and longer visit to each of the churches. Thus, Timothy’s visit would be one of exciting news and comfort; Paul’s visit would be of fellowship and more comfort. His words in these verses are rather similar to those found in 1 Corinthians 4 –

“For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. … But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills…” 1 Corinthians 4:17 & 19

Paul was consistent in his mind, thoughts, and attitude concerning the major outline of his life. Because of this, the lesser details would eventually find their proper place. Of this, he was sure.

Life application: We should be careful in our personal words to not ascribe things to the Lord of which we are unsure. It is very common to hear people say, “The Lord spoke to me,” or “I got a word from the Lord.” However, if we follow up with their claim, way too often, the “word” they claimed never came to pass. This is a bad place to be when we stand before Him. We can show a hope and a confidence in something without making false claims.

Lord God, it is more than wonderful to know that because of the work of Christ, we have an intimate fellowship with You once again. Help us to be confident in this relationship even when times are difficult and uncertain. Our hope is in You and in Your promises. Why should we be downcast or miserable when we have the outline of the glory which lies ahead? Instead, let us be trusting that the temporary trials are simply bumps on the sure road to glory. Amen.

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