When You Wonder if You Can Do All Things

One of my pet peeves is when people take Scripture out of context. For example, proclaiming I can do all things… glibly in relation to real estate or sporting events. This is not what Paul intended when he penned Philippians 4:13. Read on to see what Katie discovered when she dared to wonder if we really can do all things… We make a mess when we take Scripture out of context.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength. “

Philippians 4:13.

I Can Do All Things

This is a verse we sometimes use as our version of pre-workout or coffee to start a day that we know will be hard. It becomes a mantra of sorts through frustrating times or deep valleys in our lives but as I studied it, God showed me a connection I had never seen before. 

In the context of this verse, Paul is thanking the Philippians for gifts they sent to him but he also assures them that he has learned how to go without. 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength”

Philippians 4:11-13.

Our Strength Comes From the Vine

He starts with a list of opposing circumstances but blankets them all with the beautiful statement that he can do everything through Christ as his strength. As I thought on this verse, I began to wonder if this was Paul’s way of saying something very similar to what Jesus says in John 15. In verse 5, Jesus states: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Do you see it? Jesus says that apart from him you can do nothing while Paul says that through Jesus you can do everything. 

The opposing ideas Paul is concerned about are not whether he has a lot or a little, whether he is hungry or well fed. Those are all trivial to Paul.  His concern is whether he has Christ or not. Whether he is attached to his source or apart. Because Paul knows when we are in Jesus, when our identity is fully in Him and who he has created us to be, our trust abounds. When we remain in Him and His Word, we are constantly being refreshed and made new. We are constantly turning our eyes from our temporary circumstances to His eternal Kingdom. This perspective shift helps us not to sweat the small stuff because eternal eyes make even our big stuff seem small. The discipline of being eternally minded grows contentment and peace and keeps us attached to the Vine that is our strength. 

Connection > Circumstance

So check your source today. Are you fizzling out or freaking out because of your circumstances?

Our own power is nothing against the woes of the world, but as we remain in Christ, he offers us His strength. If you look anywhere else to be replenished, you will soon dry up. Look to the source of life to fuel you. Look to the true vine. He is your supply, your source, your strength. Apart from him, you can do nothing but through Him, you can do everything. Allow Him to lift your eyes above your circumstances so that you might better see His work in and around you. Allow His Holy Spirit to fill, guide and direct you so that you will know His will, trusting His strength–not your own– to accomplish it.

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Meet Katie

Katie Chew

Katie is a wife and stay-at-home mom of three preschoolers. Most of her time is spent outside or in imaginary worlds. In rare moments of free time, she loves to read, paint and write.

I can do all things

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