“Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.”
Here the apostle was able to dangle between two possible directions of God’s will. For most of us, there is insecurity in uncertainty. Yet Paul’s security came from something other than knowing the future.
“Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.”
This was the first of the two options in God’s will: send Timothy to Philippi. Paul was not certain whether he would be released from jail. Depending upon how his sentencing went, he would make his decision to send Timothy. Paul previously said (v.19) that he was trusting the Lord to send Timothy to Philippi. He was trusting God both to send Timothy and for his release (next sentence).
“But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly”
The word “trust” means to be persuaded. It is a verb of confidence, settled confidence. The tense of this verb means to have a state of trust. It is this kind of trust in the Lord that gave Paul stability. Paul was willing to place himself in the hands of God. Whatever the will of God, he would go with that. If God released him from prison, he would go to Philippi to resolve the church conflict. If God decided to keep him in prison, he would send Timothy to Philippi. Paul operated on the principle of “if the Lord wills.”
The Scriptures do not reveal his release, but he did receive his freedom. Later he was imprisoned again in Rome (where he wrote 2 Timothy).
Paul’s security was independent of circumstances and rested entirely on God’s will.
Are you the kind of person that needs security at almost all costs? Do you work hard not to find yourself in uncertain situations? Paul was comfortable with uncertainty because he had complete confidence in how God was handling his life. What is the nature of your confidence in the Lord?