How Jesus Really Helps Us Do “All Things”

| Mon, Jun 4, 2012 | Set 2 Week 23

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Philippians 4:11–13,

…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

Smash a homer. Climb a mountain. Blast through the pile for a touchdown. Run a marathon. Establish a new personal best on the bench press. Hit the game-winning shot. You can do it. I can do all things through him who gives me strength!

So some would say.

Snatch this powerful verse from its context and plug it right into your triumphalistic American athletic Christianity. Or take a step back and see the bigger picture. And see that there’s even more power than maybe you imagined.

Philippians 4:13 isn’t mainly about doing all the great things you’d want to do anyways, but just sprinkling them with a little Jesus gusto. Rather, the verse is mainly about how Jesus is strong enough to give us contentment in life’s very worst circumstances.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians from a dirty, miserable first-century jail, not from the end zone or the top of a freshly scaled mountain.

Yes, he does want to make sure that Christians are able to handle the good times. He wants us to remember Jesus when all is well, when we’re at life’s peaks. To thank Jesus when we succeed. To express appreciation when there’s a feast set before us. To bring him to mind as the giver of every good gift when we’re swimming in abundance.

But just as much as he wants us to lean on Jesus when times are good, he wants us to have strength from Jesus to endure when things are hardest. Maybe even more so.

When we’ve been humbled or embarrassed. When there’s no food on the table — can you imagine that? When our team loses. When we’re unmotivated. When we’re feeling depressed. When we think we may have lost the strength to go on. That’s precisely when need strength from Jesus.

Jesus is the one who by his Holy Spirit loves to give strength to his people both for doing life’s most enjoyable things and for enduring in life’s hardest things. Jesus is the strength-giver both for eating a good meal with thanksgiving and for missing one with thanksgiving. Jesus is big enough to sustain us when we’re low. He’s strong enough to hold us when we’re at our weakest. We can do all things — not just the things we want most to do, but even (and especially) the things we want least to do — through Jesus who strengths us.

So when you’re at your highest, turn to Jesus in gratitude and for the strength to take the next step. And when you’re at your lowest, turn to Jesus in faith that he’ll provide for you the strength to keep going.

It’s true — in Jesus we really can do all things — especially be content in him in the midst of life’s most difficult, painful, and tragic circumstances. Leaning always on the Savior is learning the secret for everything.

Reflection

1. What is a good, enjoyable thing in your life for which Jesus gives you strength?

2. What is a hard, trying thing in your life for which Jesus gives you strength?

3. What does this understanding of Philippians 4:13 say about Jesus’ sufficiency?

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One Response to “How Jesus Really Helps Us Do “All Things””

  1. Cora Leights Says:

    Hi, just a quick question…..can I use the Fighter Verse app to do the 6 X 6 memorization system. If not, could someone make an app for the 6×6 memory system? 🙂

    Thank you

    Reply

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