The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to our lives – social isolation, strict lockdowns and the severity of economic downturn. With the relaxation of restrictions, we look forward to the day when life will return to normal.
Through this crisis, we are forced to examine our priorities, plans, securities and comforts – our jobs, our investments, overseas holidays, road trips, dining out, etc. This pandemic has shown that what we regard as secure and dependable are not as secure as we had thought. It makes us evaluate what the important and essential things in our lives are. They are definitely not toilet paper or hand sanitizers!!
Our daily routines, schedules and plans are disrupted, and we cannot plan too far ahead. We cannot go on the overseas holidays that we had saved and planned for a long time.
As Christians, we put our trust in Jesus. We may not know what the future holds, but we have a sure and certain hope in Christ. We have heard about finding contentment in Christ and the current crisis must surely challenge us to examine ourselves and find contentment in Christ.
Amidst the changes in our lives, Christ is the one certainty. The pandemic is temporal and will end. We want it to end immediately and recognise that God is in charge. Our trust and our hope in Christ are built on a certain foundation. Nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38).
Paul did not teach us to give up everything and to live monastic lives, i.e. to renounce the world and devote ourselves fully to spiritual work. In Phil. 4:10ff, he encourages us to be satisfied and be joyful in what God has given us and to confidently declare with him, “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).
It is very easy for us to be anxious about material provision; to be worrying about whether we will be able to make ends meet. Our heavenly Father reminds and assures us that, in His providence, He will take care of us (Matt. 6:26-34). Our priority is not our material provisions. Our Number One priority is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. If we do this, God assures us that ‘all these things will be added to you’. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with these things but they are to be received as outcomes of our discipleship of Christ. Like Paul, we get to enjoy these things when and if we are blessed with them. The material provisions (these things) are not gods we seek and worship, but these things are the gifts of the Great God we worship.
It is not always easy for us to be content with what we have. We see others having things that we are unable to enjoy. We dream of nice houses, investment properties, better paying jobs, prestigious careers, beautiful cars, dream overseas holidays, and so on. This pandemic has shaken us and reminded us of the indispensable and ultimate priority in our lives – to seek God and His righteousness.
It is God who gives us richly all things to enjoy. It is always God who gives. This means that whatever we are given, whatever riches we may have, we hold them in trust for God (1 Tim. 6:17-19). And we have the wonderful promise in 2 Cor. 9:8 – ‘God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.’ This is what contentment in Christ means – that God will always provide us enough for our needs and also enough to let us provide in abundance for the needs of others.
Prayer of the Day
We know that you are the powerful ruler of this world and that everything that happens, occurs to fulfil your will. Lord please help us to remember exactly this in these difficult times. Remind us that you are in control, that you have given us a steadfast love that can never be taken away. Lord God, give us the strength to continue to preserve in our faith and our walk in Christ. Help us to be bold and unashamed, proclaiming our faith to our friends and family even in these unusual circumstances. Help us to remember that we are not the kings or rulers of our lives and that we by ourselves cannot control this situation. And in all things, we pray that your kingdom will come and your will will be done.
In Jesus name,