1 “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also, help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement as well as the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Crown: Paul is not speaking of an accumulation of crowns that are rewarded as a result of good works. In this context, the people of Philippi are the crown. So, the crown is celebrating the fact that these people are a product of his ministry, and that they are a joy to him that he will celebrate forever.
Women who have shared my struggle: These women had come alongside of Paul and helped him through a great struggle. Women were considered fellow workers in the Gospel despite being devalued by the surrounding cultures. Christianity has always been counter-cultural to some degree.
Rejoice in the Lord always: Christ is a constant presence for His children and is willing to give peace to all who need it. Because of this we can always rejoice in Him. We can also be honest with God about our circumstances and allow Him to calm our anxieties. Interesting to note: Paul seemed to believe that Jesus’s return was close (“The lord is near”). The imminence of Christ is always an encouragement for Christians in the midst of life’s turmoil.