Listen to the voice of Christ saying, "When I knew all you would do in sin, I paid the debt for your sins to save you from the penalty of sin: Hell. I want to live inside of you through the gift of eternal life. I want to live inside of you, not allowing a single thing to be done in vain in your life. If you fail, I will make something good out of it. If you fall, you will not utterly be cast down. If you are ignorant, I will cleanse you by My Blood from sins of ignorance. I will never leave you nor forsake you, whatever you do. I come to live inside of you to deliver you, never doing a single thing through you or for you in vain."
Why could Paul thank God for the entire remembrance of the church at Philippi? It is because Paul knew that God never did a thing in vain, and that God's people might have a meaningful purpose in every single thing that happened in their lives.
People live vain lives, always running down their situation because they feel God is not in it, but no situation is ever in vain. Even if it seems to be darkness, darkness is just the same as light to God (Psalm 139:12), and darkness is not vain to God because He hides there (Psalm 18:11).
Jesus was on the cross and He said, "Father, forgive them." Stephen, as he was being stoned said, "Lay not this sin to their charge." They did not live in their situation in vain. Unconditional love does not do anything in vain because it never demands a conditional response.