Can you really do anything you put your mind to? No. You probably can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound or fly faster than a speeding bullet. Some things aren’t physically possible.

So is the verse everyone quotes so often still true? 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

~ Philippians 4:13 NLT

Of course it’s true! We just need to understand its context in order to apply it correctly. Read the paragraph, not just the sentence…

How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

~ Philippians 4:10-14 NLT

What Paul is really getting at isn’t that he can do literally anything but rather that he can do two particular things quite well.

First, he can have plenty and still find his sufficiency and fulfillment in Christ. That is, Paul could enjoy possessing things without those things possessing him. Sometimes contentment is actually harder to discover when we have lots of stuff because there will never be enough stuff to satisfy our real hunger.

And second, Paul could still live in a state of contentment after losing everything material. When all the stuff went away, Paul still had Jesus. And Jesus was enough for Paul.

So here’s the real message. You can do this!

When you’re walking through hard times, you can do this! Jesus will carry you through it. He’ll be enough. And you’ll learn to lean into him like never before.

And when you’re going through high times, you can do this! You can stay faithful! You can still find contentment.

No matter what your circumstances are, you can get through it, and grow through it, and look back on it as a victory for the glory of God!

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