Every venture of faith requires resources.
Now we come to a main reason Paul writes this letter to this church, and it provides yet another great example to us and for us.
Churches which support the work of God will be supported by God in the same way those who engage in ventures of faith will be supported by churches.
It is how God has chosen to see His work accomplished in this world.
For those being aided in their ventures of faith, it is just as miraculous for God to move in the hearts of His people to have them contribute financially and otherwise as it is for God to invent resources out of thin air. (We must agree God COULD do that.)
This is the sense Paul has as he writes this note of thankfulness to this church for the financial resources God has moved them to provide for Paul, not just once but several times – as noted here. He is unbelievably wonderfully blessed of God by their blessings for him, and he knows they will be blessed unbelievably wonderfully by God for their blessings to him.
What is truly amazing about this particular blessing they have sent Paul – as led of the Lord – is Paul is no longer capable of ministry – at least in the way we normally view ministry taking place. Paul is presently in a Roman prison, and his ministry service to God has been brought to a halt.
This is not a recent development either. By now Paul has been off the field of actual missions work for several years. Why contribute to the life of one who is no longer engaged in the fight, but locked away unable to accomplish anything?
Only because God told them to.
And Paul is overwhelmingly grateful to them for their obedience to God, and to God for His provision to them which they freely provided Paul.
It is a precarious position those who are supported by God’s grace through His people place themselves in. They have no idea where God’s next blessing is going to come from or when it may come. Being in a prison only heightens the potential to doubt anyone will notice – or that anything will come.
But now, out of seemingly nowhere and from a church he planted years ago hundreds of miles away has come this blessing from the blessed. This is God’s economy at work in those who seek His kingdom to come.