Can I Really Do "All" Things?

8487702625_75e65fd54a_zI can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

You’ve probably seen this verse before.  It’s one of the most popular verses of the Bible.  There are posters, shirts, bracelets, and even entire books dedicated to this verse.  But what does this verse really mean?

Many have used this verse as a sort of battle cry or motivational mantra.  The physics test that’s coming up, I can do all things…  “I’m not sure I can get this job, there’s a lot of competition.”  “Sure you can get the job, you can do all things…”  However, that’s not really what this verse is talking about.

Let’s get a little more context:

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

The main focus of the book of Philippians is that we can have joy in suffering because of Christ.  This passage isn’t so much about being able to achieve great things in life, it’s about learning to trust in God and be content in all circumstances.  Rather than telling us that if we try hard enough or have enough faith we can get rich, this verse is telling us that even if we’re poor, we can still trust in Christ and Jesus will give us the strength to endure it.

What is your situation right now?  Are you doing well financially?  Great!  Continue to trust and follow Jesus in the bounty, being content and using that money to serve God.  Are you struggling to make ends meet?  I know it’s hard, but God will give you the strength to endure it.  Continue to trust and follow Jesus in the poverty, being content and serving God with what you have.  Are you sick or healthy?  Are you happy or mourning?  Look to Christ who strengthens you.

In all things, look to Christ.  He is your strength and He will help you to be content no matter what the situation.  Afterall, with what we have in Christ (life, forgiveness, salvation, access to God, etc.), why wouldn’t we be content?

Dear Jesus,

Teach me to be content in You at all times.  You have given us so much more than we could ever ask and certainly more than we deserve.  Help me to always remember what I have in You.


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