They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. (New Living Translation)- 2 Corinthians 8:2
This is what Paul wrote about the churches of Macedonia which were Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea. In the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul commends that church for their generous giving and yet 2 Corinthians 8:2 indicates that these churches were very poor.
Located in eastern Macedonia in an area which is now part of northern Greece, Philippi was established by Philip II. It was a wealthy city for gold was mined in the area and it was also located on a major trade route.
Living in a city of great material wealth, the Philippian Christians, though highly praised by the Apostle Paul, were living in great poverty. Yet these were the very people who were joyfully reaching out to give whatever assistance they could give to Paul.
I don't know about you but it is so easy for me to come up with reasons why I can't give. "I would love to give but unfortunately..."
Have you ever noticed that there are always emergencies that seem to come up? Seemingly legitimate reasons of why we can't give?
The churches of Macedonia had "legitimate" reasons not to give. They were poor. Desperately poor, actually. These churches were amongst the least able to give and Paul knew that and yet they gave generously. How could this be? How could these people possibly give generously?
The answer is simple. They had a heart to give and they did. Do we?