Confidence in the Circumstances
Philippians 4:13 (Maybe It’s About More Than You Think)
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” We’ve all heard it. Even non-Christians can quote the reference. It’s the subject of many tattoos and t-shirts, but what if it means something GREATER than what we have attributed to it?
In order to find the true meaning, one would need to look at the verses surrounding this famous quote…
“10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now, at last, you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” (Philippians 10-14)
BACKSTORY: Paul is writing to the church of Philippi as a means of encouragement because of their worry that Paul has been imprisoned.
During the better part of his ministry, Paul did not have belongings or wealth. In fact, he gave up his prominent status when he chose to be a minister of Christ and was in jail a good portion of the time. In America, it is easy to get caught up in “keeping up with the Joneses” or the so-called “American Dream” and looking towards getting the latest gadget, new clothes (because everything you own is just so “old”), and getting that car or that house. It is not bad to have a nice home or a big television, but it seems to be the norm to have financial struggles and spend money we really don’t have because of stuff we really don’t need. Perhaps, Paul is leading us to a mindset away from a spirit of WANTING and closer to CONTENTMENT. Perhaps, even though it is great for individuals to find daily inspiration in the scriptures, he is commanding us to something GREATER.
What Paul is really saying here is that no matter if we are in circumstances of suffering or prosperity, abundance or need, we must focus on Christ and let Him be the filter that all of our mindsets and decisions flow through, like he was doing at the time. Whether He has given plenty or just enough, we are called to focus our lifestyles on contentment in Him, and when things get particularly difficult, using His strength to carry us through to allow us to be content in even THOSE circumstances. Because when we are content with what God has given us, it shows trust and confidence in Him. If we are constantly longing, it shows we are not fulfilled by Him, but by the material things or mindsets that will ALWAYS leave us WANTING.
Paul had confidence that through his circumstances, God was doing something great.
What area of your life is God calling you to trust Him in?
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March 20, 2019
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