Thursday, November 13, 2014

What does Philippians 4:13 mean? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

A prizefighter is getting ready to step into the ring, a football team is about to take the field and a soldier is about to cross into battle. When asked if they are going to prevail, they all reply “Yes, because Philippians 4:13 states ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me!’”.

Philippians 4:13 is one of the most quoted verses of the New Testament. In fact, many would say it is their favorite verse of the Bible. Because of its popularity, it is often misapplied accidentally by those who have never considered the context of the passage where it is contained. 

The Text
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. (Philippians 4:10-13)
The Context of Philippians 4:13
Paul is very thankful for the Philippians’ support of his ministry. He wants to assure them he is grateful and content with his circumstances. He tells them he knows how to live in poverty as well as in prosperity while continuing to find joy. What is the secret to such a positive attitude? Answer: Understanding that Jesus can see you through. Paul gets strength to endure hardship in his ministry through Jesus. 

Paul is expressing his thanksgiving for their continued gifts and is informing them of his strength of character in the midst of hardship. He let’s them know that he is very content in whatever situation he is in, because the Lord provides him strength.

Philippians 4:13 is not designed to give a football player hope that his team will win, but instead, it shows that a good minister like Paul can be content with lowly means as long as he understands that Jesus will see him through. Whether you have a lot or a little, the secret to happiness is to get your strength from the Lord!

By Cliff Sabroe (Quotes from NASB Bible)