I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your circumstances? Is stress and anxiety a constant companion in your life? Do you sometimes wonder, ‘why do I bother?’ Have you ever felt like you were going down for the last time? I envision a drowning person, with their hand raised above the water line sinking one more time! I think we all have experienced these thoughts and emotions at some point in our lives and I think we can all relate to that helpless feeling.
I am sure we have all heard and quoted the verse, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13 I would like to look at this verse and discover what it means and how it can effect my life in a positive and dynamic way.
As I read the scripture verse, I was reminded of a study that I did on the Names of God – El Shaddai. In that study, I discovered that He is All Sufficient. He has all that we ever need; in fact, He has more than we need. He is more than enough.
We can only be self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. It is only through Him who is All Sufficient that we can face and accomplish the tasks set before us. So self-sufficiency is met in Christ and lived out thru us.
We need to change the way we think about situations, circumstances and problems. Instead of succumbing to the problem, we need to bring the problem into Christ’s arena. It is critical that we train ourselves to think first and foremost, ‘I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who is my strength.’ This is speaking covenant words, bringing the problem to line up with the Covenant words. We also bring Christ into the situation, not just ourselves.
We actually believe the words we say, so if we keep saying, ‘I have a problem, I have a problem, I have a problem’ we will believe it, and we will have a problem! But if we say, ‘I can do all things, I can, I can’…. We will then be looking and speaking towards a solution and not defeating ourselves with the problem. We will actually look at the situation with a whole different mindset!
Let’s look at Philippians 4:4-13.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Paul had discovered some important truths.
He had learned how to rejoice, be at peace, he had learned how to live with little and to live with a lot. He had learned who his source of strength was.
- Paul learned to rejoice always.
- He knew that the Lord was with him and he did not need to be anxious.
- Paul knew his source.
- Paul knew that he could bring his requests with thanksgiving to the Lord.
- Paul experienced peace.
- Because of his belief of who God is and was, when he brought his requests to Him Paul experienced the peace of God.
- He said it was a peace that went beyond our understanding, because it was a peace that came from above.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
What instructions does Paul give us in these verses?
- Think about these things: what is true, what is noble, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely, what is admirable. Think about what is excellent and praise worthy.
- He then tells us to put into practice what he has instructed us in. Do it.
What enabled Paul to be able to live out verses 10 -12? (the key is in verse 13).
10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Paul was able to live in whatever situation he found himself, because he realized that his strength was in Christ and it was Christ who enabled him and infused him with strength. He recognized that his source of power was by remaining in Christ and connected to Him.
James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Hebrews 4:16 says that we can cry out for grace in time of need.
When we are going through difficulty, we can cry out for grace and ask God to give us grace (favour) for that situation. His grace is there for us and it is an enabling grace, it is a favorable grace, it is an empowering grace. We can cry for it when we need it. It is rather assuring to know when I have the need I can call out to Him for favour, power, help and He will give it to me.
Often when we are facing difficulties our emotions begin to run high and when we speak out of our emotions we are not necessarily speaking words of faith and courage. Can we trust or emotions? Are they reliable? It is important to remember that our emotions are not reliable foundations upon which to speak and act upon. Speaking God’s Word during these times then becomes vitally important for my perspective. His Word will bring my scattered emotions and thoughts back into a framework of His divine ability, grace, empowerment and courage.
We do not face life alone we have Christ enabling us. You are not alone when you face seemingly insurmountable situations.
The Power of Christ is full of the Spirit of God. He is the one who resides in us and it is His power that enables us.
He gives grace, in fact He gives more grace, and I can call for grace when I am in need!
Start speaking His covenant words and build your faith!