11 … I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Phil 4:11-13
The notion of being able to do all things through Christ sometimes brings the frown-lines on ones forehead. If “I can do all things through Christ”, some might ask – why can’t I move that boulder by just looking at it? Why am I unable to do the things I wanted to because of my health? Why can’t I just make pizza appear on my table? The secret to this conundrum lies in the passage before the well known line of Phil 4:13.
In this passage, Paul outlines his secret of contentment. His secret of being at peace in plenty or poverty, well or ill, was the fact that he could get through, persevere, live contently in every situation, BECAUSE OF God’s strength. We too can get through, persevere, live contently in every situation because God is the victor of every situation. Maybe not right at this moment, but eventually when this earth story is done, Jesus Christ IS the victor. (It’s a bit of a news-flash, plot twist that we already know about…!) Therefore we can be content. We know the end story. We know who wins.
“We too can get through, persevere, live contently in every situation because God is our victor in every situation”
It is through God’s strength that we can be at peace with the situation we find ourselves journeying through. It was through God’s strength that Paul and Silas were able to rejoice in prison. It was through God’s strength that Job was able to make sense of his plight, and acknowledge the sovereignty of God. It was through God’s strength that the widow was able to give her last coin, and it was through the same strength of God, that Jesus accepted the ‘cup’ in the Garden of Gethsemane, of crucifixion that was to follow.
State your situation…say it aloud…and then claim God’s strength even through the fog. Say… “I am feeling this…or that…and then top it with … ‘but I am at peace, because God is large and in charge’… That is powerful and life changing, really good self talk! God offers his cloak of peace, his arms wrap around you and you get a feeling of ‘it’s going to be ok’ or ‘God is with me’ or ‘Yes this sucks, but I am a child of the Creator, and my inheritance is in Heaven’, or ‘Yes, I can DO this!’ Whatever your situation, claim the ‘peace that passes understanding’ (Phil 4:7).
“And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”Phil 4:7
Accept the strength on offer from Heaven…strength to keep going, strength to complete the next task, engage in the next conversation and strength to keep Jesus in the picture (the most important). May our motivation for today, come from harnessing the strength of the Creator who spoke the universe into existence.