Passing from particular to general instruction, the apostle first enjoined the grace of rejoicing. Twice he repeated his injunction. Moreover, he charged the Philippians that forbearance toward all men should be manifested. Continuing, he showed that the cure for anxiety is supplication with thanksgiving. In this connection he used that remarkable phrase, "the peace of God." Observe it carefully, the peace of God, His quietness as serenity, based on His infinite knowledge and unlimited power. Well does the apostle declare that it passes all understanding. This is the peace which is to guard the heart of such as make their requests known to God. To know that He knows, to be sure that He cares, to obey in the confidence that He is able to accomplish all His perfect will, is to have the heart at rest, and the thoughts guarded against anxiety, and free for highest service.
The mind thus guarded by the peace of God is set free to think on the highest things which Paul here named. Drawing to the conclusion of his letter, the apostle expressed thankfulness for the love manifested to him by the saints at Philippi, and declared that in all things he had learned the secret of rest in the midst of varying circumstances. That secret is ultimately revealed in the words, "I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me."
The deepest reason for his thankfulness for their care is not selfish, but that their giving meant that fruit increased to their account. What a fulness of thought there is in the declaration so familiar, and yet forevermore surprising. "My God shall supply every need of yours, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
The doxology constitutes a fitting expression of the experience of the Christian. This prisoner of the Lord Jesus recognizing his relationship to God, ascribes to Him the glory and is thus seen superior to all the limitations which characterized his position. The last words are those of personal and tender salutation by the pronouncement of the single and inclusive benediction of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
the Second Week after Epiphany