“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (New Revised Standard Version)
This verse is one of the most popular verses of Scripture…widely quoted, and extremely encouraging. It kindles images of someone trying to accomplish a daunting task – a mountain climber suddenly facing a moment of fear, a harried mother of three trying to corral the kids, keep the house clean, and get dinner ready on time, a professional working on a difficult project at work...sort of like a battle cry that gets our spiritual adrenaline surging!
Yes, Paul was speaking about these situations…and more. In verse 11-13, he said “…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and ALL circumstances, I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need…I can do ALL things…”
Paul was not just speaking about success the way we view success – he was not just talking about getting that promotion, landing a new contract, running a marathon, or any other undertaking that would lead to great achievement.
NO – he was also talking about enduring the ups and downs of life without losing his faith; he was talking about being joyful both in plenty and need; praising God whether he had all the children he wanted, or whether his wife wet her pillow with tears every night, wondering if she would ever be a mother; still being able to laugh whether he had paid all his bills or was facing foreclosure…I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT STRENGTHENS ME!
We can forgive the people that hurt us, even though the wound is still fresh (and they haven’t even apologized!); We can smile when there’s money in the bank, and laugh when the account is overdrawn; We can be content with plenty and with little…Paul discovered the secret…Christ! It is He who strengthens us!!