But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell…
Such is Paul's confession concerning his temporal condition even in the midst of trials. He did not look on this life with bitterness, or refuse to enjoy it. He was not soured by his trials, but felt that if he had troubles he had blessings also. Gloom is no Christian temper. We must live in sunshine, even when we sorrow. We ought to bless God that we have —
I. THE GIFT OF LIFE.
1. And not merely that we live, but for those blessings which are included in the notion of our living. God has made life to imply the existence of certain things which are in themselves a happiness. We cannot live without the means of life, and the means of life are means of pleasure. It might have been ordered that life should be sustained by means neither pleasurable nor painful, or even by means that were painful, and that what are the extraordinary means of preserving life should be the ordinary. Suppose, then, that food were medicine, and that wounds and bruises imparted health and strength! On the contrary, life is sustained by blessings.
2. The gospel guarantees these things. God has not promised what the world understands by good things; things whose good is only in the imagination, large estates, sumptuous furniture, carnal, sensual enjoyments, etc. But He has promised that life shall not be a burden but a blessing.
3. And giving us as much as this He bids us be satisfied with it, to confess that we "have all" when we have so much; that we "abound" when we have enough. He promises food, raiment, lodging, and He bids us, having that, to be content.
II. THE GIFT OF SLEEP. God does not suffer us to be miserable for a long time together, even when He afflicts us, but He breaks our trials into portions; takes us out of this world ever and anon, and gives us holiday time, like children at school. Sleep is equally the comfort and recruiting of rich and poor. We sleep whether we are in sorrow or in joy, in anxiety or hope.
III. THE BLESSINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOOD. As food, raiment, sleep, are necessary conditions of life, so is society. When God removes us from the world He puts us into the Church; and distance, as proved in the case of St. Paul, does not break the communion of saints.
IV. THE BLESSINGS OF PRESENT PEACE IN THE CHURCH, freedom from persecution.
V. THE PRIVILEGES OF FREE SPEECH AND ACTION.
VI. THE PRIVILEGES OF DAILY WORSHIP AND WEEKLY COMMUNION. Let us then enjoy our present blessings and bless the Giver.
Parallel VersesKJV: But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.