How can I understand and apply Philippians 4:13?
I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
Most folks, I think, take this verse out of context more than just about any other verse in God’s word.
Don’t we use it to comfort folks going through rough times. “I know you’re struggling, Jane, but we know the Bible says we can ‘do all things through Christ, who strengthen us.’ ” To me that admonition is neither encouraging nor comforting. To me it says, “Come on, Jane. You can do this. You can get through this and Christ will help you.” I’m as guilty as anyone else of offering this verse as consolation to someone going through a trial or tragedy.
But, it’s not consolation. To me, it’s a challenge to our walk with Christ. To me Christ says,
“You’re facing a tough time. I know what it is. I’ve been there. I know the outcome. I know the blessing you’ll enjoy getting through it. Now, you have a choice. You can go it alone in the flesh, or you can surrender your trial to Me and allow me to walk you through it in My strength.”
Can we leap tall buildings in a single bound? No. Can we make two-plus-two equal five? No. Can we turn water into wine? Not a chance.
But we can choose to allow Christ and His strength to strengthen us. We can choose to let Christ live His life in us, through us and as us. We can choose to walk in the Spirit of God rather than our putrid flesh. We can choose to do all things through Him who created us and gives us His strength.