I Can Do All WHAT? Through Christ Who Gives Me Strength…
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV).
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (NIV).
Many people quote the Bible verse above–and with great reason!
Nevertheless, I have often heard it cited whenever someone faces a particularly difficult situation, from athletic contests to academic testing to arriving somewhere on-time despite gridlocked traffic. While I believe Jesus wants us to invite Him into every area of our lives from the mundane to the monumental, I’m not sure the Apostle Paul had in mind winning the World Hot Dog Eating Championships when he wrote the verse above :). So let’s take a look at the twelve verses directly preceding verse thirteen above (please click HERE) to see the context in which the Apostle Paul makes this powerful statement–let’s dig through God’s Word and find out specifically those life situations/trials (the “all things”/the “all this”) that the Lord Jesus will give us strength to face.
Verse 1: Standing Firm in the Lord (e.g. not giving up on trusting in/believing in/obeying Jesus when life gets overwhelming).
Verse 2: Unity expressing itself in actions of love/service with other Christ-followers (e.g. working together for the common purpose of representing Jesus in this world even though Christians don’t agree on every detail of the Bible, Christian living, etc.).
Verse 3: To helping/encouraging/supporting other Christ-followers who are at odds with each other (e.g. serving as a humble peacemaker).
Verse 4: Choosing to praise God for His greatness and goodness even when our outer circumstances are painful/discouraging (e.g. praising God for Who He is even when He doesn’t give us what we want).
Verse 5: Being gentle (strength under control) with other people, especially if they don’t deserve it/aren’t gentle with us (e.g. turning the other cheek, forgiving, not keeping a record of wrongs, etc.).
Verse 6: Staying calm by constantly thanking God and asking Him for help (e.g. pausing to interact with God throughout the day, especially during stressful moments).
Verse 8: Filling our minds with nourishing/constructive/holy thoughts, words, and images (e.g. focusing on Who God is and the myriad of blessings He gives instead of the painful/uncomfortable/irritating aspects of life).
Verse 9: Following the practical examples of godly Christian friends/mentors (e.g. those you personally know or those you meet through reading biographies).
Verse 10: Being thankful for and patient with others (e.g. unmet/delayed expectations, etc.).
Verses 11-12: Learning to be satisfied/joyful/peaceful with the forgiveness and friendship of Jesus and not the riches of this world.
WOW! Verses 1-12 show that Jesus will give us strength to accomplish more–and better–things than we ever thought possible. 🙂