Paul knew how to say thanks to God and to those who were in partnership with him in the Lord’s work. Philippians 1:3-11 says, “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. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for 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 until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.”
The Apostle Paul presents to us the heartbeat of a mature Christian. These passages of Scripture present concisely and clearly the expressions of thanksgiving that are so desperately needed in the Body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul at Philippi is maltreated; there he is scourged and put in the stocks. At the time he writes of this portion of the letter he has seen little fruit from his labors, and yet he remembers Philippi with joy. He looks upon his sufferings for Christ as his credit and his comfort, and he is so thankful. The Apostle is not alone in the world, he is not the only one living for Christ. He is part of a great family of believers. He is not in the presence of the Body of Christ, yet in his Roman prison he has great joy in remembering that there are others who are serving the Lord and living in a sweet fellowship with God and Christ.
Those involved in the work of the Lord are not alone. There is the whole Body of Christ with different spiritual gifts and committed to their work for the Lord. Those who are illuminated with this truth are just like the Apostle who wrote, “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:12) Whether you are with a certain group of Christians or you are just remembering the labors and faithfulness of others, there can be a wonderful joy that floods your heart as you thank God for calling you into Kingdom service. Be Thankful for other Christians!