Philippians 4 in a COVID 19 world

By Gavin Davies on 24 March 2020

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Due to the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) lockdown, our regular small group was unable to meet. Our leadership asked me to prepare a short message.

Share asked me to give just a short message to you all in this hard time for our country.

In the 4th chapter of Philippians, Paul says:

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

This isn’t a man who was in a palace. He wasn’t in a nice house. He was in prison! Not a nice prison. He did not have Sky Sports.

And I want you to hear this at the moment - Paul says “don’t be anxious, tell Jesus about it all”.

There is nothing anywhere in the Bible that says Christians will have easy lives. In fact, we are promised hardship and difficulty. We are to treat it as discipline (that’s in Hebrews). But be encouraged! He is with us! The smallest thing to the biggest problem - Jesus is there, He cares. This scripture literally says “roll your burdens onto Him”, and the picture is like rolling a huge weight off your chest! He can take it - He is God!

Paul then goes on to say:

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

That’s a piece of scripture that a lot of Christians quote - “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - but what is he really saying? That he can be rich? Have a nice car? A lovely family? Be free from sickness? No! Paul is saying HE CAN BE CONTENT, even in hard times. And why? Because Jesus Christ is enough!

That love that took Jesus to the cross for you, that same love is available today. That blood on the cross is always fresh for washing away our sins. That head that was pierced with thorns is inclined to listen to you today. Come to Him. He loves you, he loves you, he loves you. And as this world gets dark, Jesus shines brighter and brighter.

So I say - we can REJOICE even in this situation. We can rejoice because there is a GOOD King. Because, one day, a Kingdom is coming where there’s no more pain, no more sickness, no more death, and Father God gently wipes away all of our tears. And that’s FAITH, that we say “Jesus promised this, so I can be content, because He is with me, and He is enough”

I don’t say this lightly - yesterday my friend John died of this virus. So let’s be wise. Don’t put yourself or anybody else at risk. I can’t promise you we won’t suffer. I can’t promise we won’t get sick. I CAN promise that ANYONE who takes refuge in Jesus will be saved. So, as Psalm 62 says,

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”