Philippians 4v13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”
There’s a lot of weight in the these two words “I can”. Its an attitude and confidence that rejects the words “I cant”. When we are living this “I can” life our whole nature benefits from it. The secret of the “I can” life is found in the other two key words, “through Christ”.
Sidlow Baxter tells a story about an old man who came to know Christ late on in life. He was encouraged to read the 4 Gospels, the book of Acts, Romans and Philippians. He read these and then stopped at Philippians 4v13 “I can do all things” which in his Bible was at the bottom of the right hand page. ” The man said “no Paul that’s wrong, you have gone a bit too far this time”. He read it again “I can do all things….” The man said, “no Paul, you are getting a bit arrogant”…then he turned over the page where he read “through Christ who strengthens me”. “ah”, said the man, “now that changes everything, you are right Paul after all”.
Sometimes wishful thinking can lead us down the garden path. We have heard people say “If only I had 1 million pounds, I would help those in need, bless my family, give most of it away”…or we hear people say “If only I was in better health, or if only I had their position and opportunities”, or “If only I had their gifts and talents, I could accomplish all my dreams” What we have heard from others who get all these things, it seems that everything changes including the goal posts. Now its nothing like what they thought it would be and in many cases, life seems much more challenging and difficult. As one man put it – “We often find that what we had thought would be golden opportunities are now difficulties and what we thought were our own disadvantages were in reality disguised opportunities”. Our position as a believer Jesus is to accept what God allows and say “I can do all things through Christ”
If this isn’t true maybe Paul could have written “If only I were the Emperor of Rome, I would write a decree stating that Christianity should be embraced and accepted in this Province” Or Peter writing things like” If only I was an expert in the Law, an educated philosopher, how I would theologically tie the Pharisees and Sanhedrin leaders in knots, they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on” and imagine John writing, ” If only I was a leading MP, I would make love a law in every department in the Government. We all have hopes and dreams, and say “if only I”…BUT we wont find this thinking in the new Testament. Paul’s whole attitude is found in these words “I can….through Christ” ….Q. how does this work? well it works like this “I can do all things through Christ, when I allow Him to do all things through me”