| 7.2°C Belfast


Thought for the weekend

Rev Gareth Burke


Close

'Once more, we're in a period of lockdown and adjusting to new restrictions in our daily routine.' Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

'Once more, we're in a period of lockdown and adjusting to new restrictions in our daily routine.' Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

'Once more, we're in a period of lockdown and adjusting to new restrictions in our daily routine.' Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

The Covid-19 crisis continues. Once more, we're in a period of lockdown and adjusting to new restrictions in our daily routine.

Some of you will have been very directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the very mention of it causes you pain.

Others, like me, will not have had first-hand experience of the virus, but will have had to self-isolate and remain at home for a couple of weeks.

To be honest, I found self-isolation a rather strange experience. I wasn't ill, but I was confined.

It got me thinking about the Apostle Paul.

At the end of the Book of Acts, we find Paul in Rome under house arrest.

It would seem that he was chained to a Roman soldier and was unable to leave the house and gardens where he was being held.

However, he was permitted to receive visitors and was also given some liberty as to how he used his time.

It was really a period of self-isolation.

Paul used the time well. Today, we are continuing to read "the prison epistles": those letters we find in the New Testament that he wrote while under house arrest in Rome - Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.

The other day, I came across some words that Paul wrote during his time of self-isolation: "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." (Philippians 4:11).

Now, how can he say that? How can he possibly be content when he is so confined and restricted?

Now, of course, I don't have insight into the thought patterns of the Apostle Paul.

But let me suggest three things that I think would have been very much in his mind, which would have helped him to feel content despite the uncomfortable situation he found himself in.

He knew that God was in control (Romans 8:28).

As one who was trusting in Jesus as his saviour, he knew that he was in a right relationship with God (Romans 5:1).

He also knew that, one day, the trials of this life would be over forever and he would stand in the presence of Jesus in the glory of Heaven (Romans 8:18).

Feeling discontented? Maybe we need to ponder these three truths and, even better, pray that God, by His grace, will make these things a living reality in our lives.

Belfast Telegraph


Top Videos



Privacy