I can do all things through him who strengthens me...
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)
I don't know about you but I have often myself quoted or heard quoted "I can do all things through him who gives me strength" grossly out of context. I can think of being on a run and repeating it to myself as a sort of chant! Haha
Reading it this morning was maybe the first time I read it and understood it in its context. Paul is talking about being content whether he has a lot to eat or nothing at all, in times of abundance and in times of great need, when he is in a bad situation or when he is feeling really good!
Note he says that he has learned to be content in BOTH the negative and positive circumstances...
it is into this context that he says "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." I think Paul is saying I can be content in all circumstances because Holy Spirit gives me the strength to face them, no matter whether I am in desolation or abundance - rejoicing in the Lord, with thanksgiving and supplication I take all my prayer request to God- Holy Spirit fills me giving me the peace and I am secure in God, not swayed by my circumstances...
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4, 6, 7 ESV).
OK let me try and tie up all these thoughts:
By bringing all our prayer requests to God through thanksgiving and supplication we can do ( face) all things (all circumstances) through him who strengthens us (gives us peace, resulting in contentment).
Again note that this applies to the good, bad and the ugly, stressing the importance of needing God in all circumstances, even when things are going really well we will not be content unless we are ultimately finding our satisfaction (peace) with/in God.
Are you currently going through the good, bad or the ugly?
Are talking to God? Bringing him both your thanksgiving and your requests?
Are you at peace? Are you satisfied? Content?
Do you believe that you can ultimately only find this in God? Because as long as we try to be satisfied by other people or things we will not be at peace, satisfied or content.
We need to fully surrender all are needs and desires over to our perfect and loving King and he will satisfy us, give us a peace beyond our understanding and we will then and only then like Paul learn to be content in all circumstances!