“I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 This verse has become cliché in Christian circles. We spout it when someone complains, “it is hard,” or “I can’t do it.” We glibly rattle it off to our friend who is struggling with pain and loss. We think it is GREAT verse for them. Oh, but we do not even read it in context.
Perhaps it is ironic that as I write this I am sipping a coke and eating a Spicy Chicken Sandwich and waffle fries from Chick-fil-a. Do I really get this verse? I live in the land of plenty. I have never known true want. I have never wondered IF I will have another meal, I have only wondered IF it would come soon enough. I have worn hand-me-downs, but I have never wondered if I could squeeze myself into a thread-bare dress that is two sizes too small because we have no money for a new one. So what does this have to do with Philippians 4:13? Well, if you check out Philippians 4:10-13, you will understand.
Paul is talking about how he has, “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” He describes contentment while well-fed and contentment while hungry. Then he says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Do you see it? He can do all things because he is content in Christ. When he is content in His savior, Paul has contentment with an empty stomach or a full stomach. Let us be real here. I rarely have an empty stomach, but am I content? If I am not content with the blessings God has given me today, how can I be content when one or more are taken from me? If I haven’t learned contentment with the house, car, kids, husband, friends, job, gifts He has given me, how can I do all things through His strength?
Do not get me wrong, God’s strength is available to those who have accepted Jesus as their personal savior. However we often disconnect ourselves from our power source by not finding contentment in the place He has us. God has given us the houses, cars, friends, family we have for His purpose. We need to learn to find contentment, not in the people, money, things that He has given, but in Him alone. When our contentment is in Christ, we find strength to make it through every trial. We find joy to cling to during great times and terrible times. We have hope that this world is not all there is for us. True contentment is found in Christ. Through contentment we can do “all things through Christ who strengthens [us].”
What are you not content about in your life? Lets pray that we find contentment in Christ our Savior regardless of the things that seem to be falling apart around us. Then let us stay connected to the source of our strength Christ to see us through the good times and the bad.
Share with me you thoughts!