“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
I have read this scripture many times and often quoted it when I was needing strength for some task or situation in my life. But as I looked at the verses that go before it, I realized just why Paul was saying this.
He was commending the Philippians for the way they had supported him whenever they had the opportunity to do so. There were times when he needed food, and they had not been close enough to help him. But just the thought that if they had been there, they would have provided for him, made him glad.
In verse eleven, he reminds them that he had learned to be content whether things were going well or not. He had been hungry, and he had been well-fed. The strength in his life was evident in his ability to be content when he was suffering in need. His trust and belief that the Lord was in control gave him the confidence to go on doing what was needed.
Paul reminds us that his contentment was not just something he preached about, he lived it. He knew what it was to be abased, but he had also known what it was to abound. In either situation, his confidence in Christ did not change.
It is so easy to trust the Lord when things are going well. But we know life is going to give us good times and tough times. Even as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will face the same situations that everyone in the world faces. There are times when life seems great, everything is going well, and then the scene will change, and we feel the entire world is against us. That is when we need to remember, that Jesus and His love for us has not changed. His grace is still sufficient, He is still all-powerful, and we can be content knowing He will never leave nor forsake.
Paul’s statement of faith ties in with Jesus’ teaching:
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Whatever today brings our way, whether we are in the valley of need or on the mountaintop of victory, we can be content with our lot. Jesus is here and we can do all things through Him.
Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for the times when things are going well, and we also thank you for the times when we are in need. Help us to be content, knowing you are always there to give us the strength we need.
Devotion by Anne Johnston