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Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. (Philippians 4:14)
Paul, here, returns to a personal thank you to the believers. He commends them for their loving care in providing relief to help with his suffering. They had been able to stay strong in dealing with their own struggles with riches, lack of contentment, carelessness for others, and obligations to help others in time of need.
The word translated share (συγκοινωνέω sugkoinōneō) means “to share together with,” or “to be partakers together” and is made up of syn (with) and koinonia (fellowship) and carries a picture of true partnership between Paul and the Philippian believers. He says that they were willing to partner in his affliction. The word in Greek means a pressing pressure or a pressing together, and it can mean oppression or distress. Their recent gift was not just a monetary provision, but also a sign that they were in sympathy with what he was going through. It teaches us that those real partners shared difficulties.
More in-depth Insights
Nevertheless, you have done well. We have already seen here in chapter 4 that Paul had learned how to be content in all situations and circumstances. In other words, Paul is content with all the things that had happened and the condition of those things. A good example will be the situation when some Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city. The circumstances are that Paul had been severely hurt to the point that the Jews thought that he was dead. Paul knew that Christ could enable him to carry out his duties. Paul was lying there on the ground, having been stoned almost to death. “But while the disciples stood around him, he rose up and entered the city. The next day he left with Barnabas to Derbe.” (Acts 14:20) Even though Paul had learned how to be content, it was okay for the brothers in Philippi to show sympathy for his sufferings. By their doing so, they were exhibiting proper regard for an apostle.
To share with me in my affliction. The brothers in Philippi were sharing (συγκοινωνέω sugkoinōneō) in Paul’s misery, suffering, misfortune, sickness, and hunger. They participated in his suffering. How? These fellow brothers had given Paul comfort as he endured tribulations. They genuinely participated with Paul, who was imprisoned in Rome, as they helped him to bear his hardship by supporting him materially and physically. They had sent relief, which supplied his wants, but it sustained his spirit (mental disposition) by assuring him that he was not being forgotten.
 Paul starts out with the concept of fellowship as early as verse 5 of this letter.