Thanks for joining me for our Philippians on Friday! Today we’re continuing with the story of Epaphroditus:
Philippians 2:26-27 – For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
As you remember from last week, Epaphroditus was a man from the church at Philippi. The church had sent Epaphroditus to be a help to Paul who was on house arrest in Rome. Epaphroditus had been a great comfort and support to Paul. But now Paul was sending him back home to the Philippians.
Epaphroditus became very ill when he was with Paul. Paul states in this passage that Epaphroditus was so sick that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him and raised him up! So Paul was sending him back to the Philippians with a testimony – a testimony that God is a healer!
A Testimony to the Philippians: God is a Healer!
May this story remind us that God is a healer! Remember the promises of God’s Word concerning healing:
Isaiah 53:5 (KJV) – 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed.
James 5:14–15 (KJV) – 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…
God healed Epaphroditus. God is a healer. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still in the healing business. There is still power in His Name to heal all manner of sickness and disease! If you are sick today, trust in the promises of God’s Word. If someone you know is sick, remind them that God is a healer and pray for them! Like Epaphroditus, you too, can have a testimony of healing.
Seekers of Sympathy
The attitude of Epaphroditus during his critical illness is interesting to me. We can see from Paul’s remarks that Epaphroditus didn’t want to worry the Philippians about his sickness.
…For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick…
His heart was heavy because the church had heard how sick he was. He didn’t want the church to worry about him. That attitude is so different from the attitude of a lot of people. Many people want you to worry about them! Many people crave attention and sympathy. They are quick to tell you all about their woes and hardships. They want you to feel sorry for them.
Let’s not be given to drama nor seekers of sympathy.
The situation with Epaphroditus really was a serious situation. He was so sick that he nearly died. Yet he still didn’t want the church to worry about him. Wow! What a refreshing attitude.
We shouldn’t hesitate to share legitimate needs with brothers and sisters in Christ so that they may pray for us – that is Biblical. But let’s learn a lesson from Epaphroditus. Let’s not be given to drama nor seekers of sympathy. Let’s spare our church family the details of every little ache, pain or problem that is shared just to gain attention or pity. Remember, we can cast our cares – large or small – on the Lord! But let’s make sure our motives are right when sharing needs with our brothers and sisters. I don’t want to whine so much about every ache and pain that when a serious need arises I’m treated like the boy who cried wolf! Bearing one another’s burdens is an important ministry in the church, but if I’m just seeking attention, I should stick to casting my cares on the Lord!