God Promises Strength


I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

The world is big today on affirmation: “You can do it,”  “Just do it.”  We convince our children that they can do anything they want.  We even expect that of ourselves, which sometimes leaves us feeling like a failure when we aren’t able to do anything and everything.  Some even quote Paul as saying, “I can do all things” (Philippians 4:13).  But Paul isn’t saying we can do everything, he is saying that we can do everything God wants us to do “through Christ who gives me strength”(Philippians 4:13).

Being a pastor or church leader can seem to be a very big responsibility.  Sometimes the work seems too hard for us.  There may not be many results and we wonder if we should do something else instead of pastoring.  Being a godly pastor can be a very difficult job, but if God wants you to do it then He promises to give you the strength you need.  Perhaps you are facing a problem in your ministry.  There may be trouble in your church or family.  You may not know what to do about it.  Remember ,God promises to give you strength for whatever He wants you to do.

Every passage in Scripture must be taken in context and in Philippians 4 Paul is talking about the importance of  being content in life, no matter if we have a lot or very little.  The key, Paul says, is contentment.  In addition, Paul says he “learned” to be content.  A newborn baby is anything but content.  It wants what it wants and wants it immediately.  Patience and acceptance of life as it is doesn’t come easy as children grow.  It doesn’t come naturally to any of us.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how content would you say you are?  Where would God place you on that scale?

Are you jealous of those with ministries that seem to be larger or more successful than yours?  Are you expecting too much from your people, or from yourself?  Ask God to help you be content with those you minister to, and to be content with what you can do.  Its fine to want to grow and do better, but we must still be content with what we have.

There is no excuse to be anything but a 10 in contentment, because God promises to give us the strength we need to accept life as it is.  If Paul can learn, thought God’s power, to be content with prison, persecution, near-death experiences, rejection, beatings and betrayal by friends, God will be able to give us contentment as well – but we must turn to Him for it.

If God wants us to be content, He will give us the strength to be able to do it.  The principle is clear: if God wants you to do (or stop doing) something, then He will give you the strength to do it.  A Christian can never say “I can” in their own power, nor can they say “I can’t” with God’s power available.  (January 25, 2021  Doylestown, PA)

When is the last time you said, “I can’t”?  Confess that as sin.  It is a lie.  Memorize this verse, Philippians 4:13, and repeat it over and over all day.


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