As I write this we are currently in a quarantine. We are told not to congregate in public, limit grocery store trips, no church meeting unless online, no concerts or sports. We are limited in what we can do. This has cause people in Michigan to protest and has caused many people to post their frustrations online. If we read Philippians we see that Paul is in a similar position (I’d argue worse). Paul is writing a letter from prison. These words from Paul and our similar circumstances should teach us something about God, ourselves, and others.
Take a few minutes to read Philippians 1:1-11.
In verse six Paul displays a lot of confidence. This confidence isn’t in the Philippian people or their power but is founded in God. God began a good work and will continue the work he started. This confidence from Paul doesn’t just apply to the Philippian church. We can know that God is in control despite the circumstances. God has never failed to complete his promises and we can be confident he won’t give up now.
How does Paul’s confidence make you feel? How does his positivity, even though he is in prison and may die, strike you?
Paul is in a prison. His rights are stripped from him and he is unable to go to the store or see his friends face to face but Paul has a positive outlook. He is confident in God. He is showing positivity despite his circumstances. The reason for Paul’s positive perspective is because of his knowledge in Jesus. He is able to see his life in a new light. It isn’t found in the understanding of the world but in trusting God.
Is your life showing a positive perspective in your current situation? What ways can you shift your perspective?
As we think about our actions we must also think about how they affect others. In the case of this quarantine staying home increases the odds that someone else may stay safe. If we think about other people, the things we are giving up don’t seem so harsh. A person’s life is more important than buying flowers or riding boats. We should strive to lives Paul’s prayer in verse nine. Let our love abound more and more.
In what ways are you seeking the benefit of others? Why or why not is that difficult for you personally?
Lastly on the issue of quarantine let this time be one of rest. Take a Sabbath that this nation desperately avoids. During this quarantine find your priorities. What is truly important now and what is worth leaving behind when things eventually revert to the “normal” way of life?
As always remember to share the story.