I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do all things through Christ. If you look this phrase up on Google you will find that it returns 2.5 million hits. Clearly, it is a common expression that is widely used. But I wonder how well we really understand what Paul is saying here.
Paul has given thanks to the church at Philippi for a financial gift that they had sent to him, likely during his Roman imprisonment. Unlike today’s American prisons, Roman prisoners were responsible to provide for their own food and other needs. So the gift from the Philippian church would have put food on a table that was sometimes bare.
After giving thanks, Paul expressed that he had learned the secret to being content, regardless of how much or little he had. Whether he was well-fed or hungry. Whether living in plenty or want. What was this secret to being content?
Paul’s secret is expressed in this verse. He could do everything, or all things, through the strength that Christ provides. In this passage, Paul was referring specifically to being content regardless of his circumstances. Because of the strength Christ had provided, he was not discouraged because of his time in prison or the times when he went hungry. He was content.
We might correctly see this verse as having greater application than just this. But we should not overlook this application. We can, and should, be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. If you can improve your position in a God-honoring way, then do so. But don’t allow less-than-ideal circumstances to discourage you. Learn Paul’s secret to contentment. And continue to be faithful to God.