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Contentment In Times of Trouble

Philippians 4:10–13

Today is the thirteenth day of our nation’s self-imposed quarantine for the coronavirus. Except for essential services, along with food and medical care, Americans are to stay at home. We are cut off from others and confined to our homes. Is there a word from God that relates specifically to the circumstances that we find ourselves currently in?

This deadly virus pandemic has been disruptive to our ordinary lives, and has filled many with fear, frustration, and a longing for the current state of things to come to an end. We’ve been forced to bring our activities into check, but what about our inner turmoil? Where can we find inner calm, clear thinking, and contentment in such a day as this?

The Bible addresses that question head on through the writings of the Apostle Paul, when he was taken out of the circulation of everyday life and confined to a prison cell because of his faith. If you read his letters from prison, especially Ephesians and Philippians you discover that he is both cheerful and at peace, truly content, full of faith, without a trace of worry or fear. How did he do that? We will discover today that such was not always the case with Paul. He had to learn how to be content in all kinds of circumstances. He tells us how we can have the same worry-free peace, when he wrote not from the ivory tower of a stress-free, comfortable life, but when he was in the straightened circumstances of prison.

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The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32)

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