st. 1 = Phil. 1:3-11
st. 2 = Phil. 1: 19-26
st. 3 = Phil. 2:15-16
st. 4 = Phil. 3:1-14
st. 5 = Phil. 4:4-13
In 1981, after participating in a Bible study of Paul's letter to the Philippians, Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee member Dale Topp (b. Holland, MI, 1937) was inspired to write this text, a paraphrase of portions of Paul's letter. The text was first published in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.
Although the letter includes Paul's expression of gratitude to the Philippians for their gift to him, it is primarily a pastoral letter of Christian advice and encouragement. Paul's exhortations, using an early Christian creed or hymn, emphasize joy (see Phil. 2:6-11 and Psalter Hymnal 227,467). The beginning phrase of each stanza, "God works his purposes in us," is derived from Philippians 2:13. Those with a literary bent will note with suitably Philippian joy the tight internal rhymes in the third phrase of each stanza.
Topp was educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and began teaching music in the Zeeland (Michigan) Christian Schools. Since 1967 he has been a professor of music education at Calvin College. He has published several music guides for Christian Schools International, edited various "Hymn of the Month" collections, and he wrote Music in the Christian Schools (1975). Topp was chair of the tune committee that prepared the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.<?cite>
With preaching on Philippians; as a response to the sermon.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook