I Can Do All Things
Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~ Philippians 4:13-14
Christ will supply the strength. If we stop trying to rely on ourselves and put ourselves into the hands of God, He will give us all the strength we need. But it is in our nature to try to make ourselves happy. We think, “If I work hard enough I can make something of myself, and I will be happy.” Then there is the Christian, who will tell himself and maybe others, “I don’t need to be rich. I only need enough to pay my bills so I'm not worrying all the time. And maybe be able to take a vacation once a year.”
But how many people, who want to adjust their money to satisfy their desires, instead of adjusting their desires to meet their money, ever become happy? Alexander the Great, when he had conquered the world, wept that he had no other world to conquer. Seeking to rely on the strength of our person to increase our share of the material world is a fire that will never have enough fuel.
It is the degree to which we submit our will to Christ, in obedience, that determines both our strength and our contentment; in a word, our real success. Almost every Christian accepts this for a second and then, immediately, begins adding a strings of “buts” to it. Don't kid yourself. Those “buts” are not the solution to your problems; they are the cause of it. Don't be led around by your “buts”; put them behind you, where they belong.
God has promised that if we glorify Him, He will give us strength to do all things. People use Philippians 4:14 when they want a promotion at work, thinking this it some sort of Biblical self-affirmation, the power of positive thinking; they need to read the lines preceding it. “I have learned both to be full and to be hungry,” Paul teaches. That is the point of the passage; that we may be strong enough to live in contentment, whatever the world might think of us, or do to us, or give to us, or take away from us.
Heavenly Father, give me the strength to surrender myself ever more to your will. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer