5. I can do all things.
Almost every Christian I know, knows the words in Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things…” and in fact many, including my own daughter, says that it’s their favorite scripture.
It’s the two verses preceding 13 that has changed the way I look at things forever.
Philipians 4:11-12 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
The word that hit me right between the eyes, was the word “instructed”. Paul is basically saying he was taught to be both full and hungry and to be content either way.
How do you teach someone to be full or hungry? You let them experience it! Paul experienced hunger and fullness, he was abased (humiliated, degraded), he had at times an abundance and at other times suffered need. He learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself, both good and bad.
Now I don’t think that Satan had a vested interest in instructing Paul, so is it safe to say that God was doing the instructing? Was God allowing Paul to experience all these circumstances so that he can say; “Been there, done that and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”?
Paul is not just saying: I can do all things because Christ will give me the power to do the job, win the race, climb the mountain. Paul is saying: I have experienced these things first hand and I have learned that Christ will sustain me in whatever situation I might find myself.
When I go through tough times and face difficult circumstances, as we all do, I ask myself if this is maybe my turn to be instructed on how to be content, whatever my circumstances may be.
I also know that I will be fine in the end, because Jesus is giving me all the strength I need.
Up next: I serve a Big God.