I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. 4:13
This was the first verse I memorized in my early childhood. My brothers and I used to call it out over our shoulders each morning as we ran to our bus stop. I've shouted it before cliff diving in high school. As a gymnast, I'd recite it over and over during nerve-wracking beam routines. Again and again I'd recite it at track meets, diving meets, even before tough tests in school. My emphasis was on me doing the things.
But that isn't really what Paul was talking about when he wrote this. He was under house arrest in Rome, where for two years he rented his own jail and couldn't leave. But he could welcome people in and he preached the good news to all who came to him.
Just before the famous 4:13, Paul speaks about how he's learned to be content no matter the circumstances--rich or poor, well fed or hungry. The secret: God gives him strength in ALL circumstances. Paul trusts God to come through no matter what is happening to him
Now that is something I need way more than the strength to cliff dive or stick a landing, the strength to BE CONTENT no matter what.
Lord God, I pray that you would pour this contentment into our hearts and minds today, that we would be able to face any and every circumstance today and know that because you are with us, we can face it. Please give us that strength and hope, Jesus.
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"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life." Philippians 2:15
Anytime I tell myself not to do something, that is what I do. So how can we spin this in the positive? Develop contentment and do conflict well, speaking truth in love.