In this first of a four-part series on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, Fr. Nicholas Louh shares his thoughts on this beloved book of the Bible. He begins by describing the framework of Philippians. St. Paul is writing to the Christians in the city of Philippi, which was the first church he established in Greece. He is writing this letter in response to letters he has received from them, describing various problems they are having. St. Paul is writing this letter while he is in jail. He is hand-shackled to a Roman guard and living in an underground prison. Despite his conditions, St. Paul’s first message is that he thanks God for them, the Philippians. All of this will make it all the more remarkable that St. Paul is able to counsel the Philippians to abound in joy because of our Christian faith. We must not let the sourness of our troubles impede the sweetness of the life God wills for us.