For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 2 Corinthians 8:2 ESV
Our twelve year old grandson is named Christian. Whenever Christian is happy about something he squints his eyes, rubs his hands together and smiles as wide as he can. Christian loves to tell me a joke or to give me some small gift he has made. While he is doing that he will shout out my name and sometimes even jump up and down in excitement. Some say that our grandson has special needs; but I just think that God has given him to our family so that we will know what rejoicing looks like!
When was the last time you can honestly say that you experienced joy like that? In today’s verse we are introduced to the little church in a town called Philippi who had a giant giving heart. They were very poor believers who had befriended Paul but they discovered first-hand what being more blessed giving than receiving really meant. Perhaps because of their own poverty they understood hunger and when they heard about people who were without food; they eagerly sent as large an offering as they could. Like us in the Western world some of the richer churches groaned when asked to give, and just grudgingly gave what they felt they had to. But the Philippians saw this as a joyful opportunity to give their best and they discovered that in God they were really rich. They found out just as our grandson has, that giving whatever they had gave them a chance of receiving God’s overflowing joy and that was way more than they could have ever imagined!