“I can do all things through Christ.” Wait, seriously ALL things?

I’ve thought a lot about the above verse, Philippians 4:13. There have been songs written about it. Sermons preached about it. Many people have been inspired and encouraged by that one little verse. The only thing is that the common understanding of this verse only skims the surface of its deeper meaning.


I remember running ages ago (BK – Before Kids) in my second or third marathon. I had a friend meet me towards the end of the race to run with me the last few miles. It’s always easier to have someone running beside you. And this is especially the case when you’ve already run 20 miles and still have a 10K to go. Believe me, you need that extra “You can do this” being spoken over you.

My friend was so sweet. At one point, she just said to me, “You can do all things through Christ!” To which I responded through gasps, “I know.” I was deliriously exhausted at that point, so that was all I could think of to say. Still hilarious when I think back on it.

Yes, but there’s more

That is the perfect example of how that verse is ordinarily used today. I’m certain Paul meant for it to be used in that kind of situation, but not exclusively. And that’s my point. How often do we hear this being spoken to someone who is struggling in a difficult marriage, with no end in sight? Or someone who has just been given a horrible medical diagnosis? Or what about those of us who have been canceled and rejected over our biblical convictions?

When we lift one verse from Scripture, it can be misconstrued or twisted to fit almost any narrative we’d like it to. But when taken in context and studied for what the author was intending to share with his audience, that is when we can actually truly understand the meaning of a passage in Scripture.

What Paul is talking about

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Phil 4:10-13), he is saying that whether he has had a lot or a little, in difficult circumstances or in comfort, he has found how to be content. He found he could do it all through Christ.

In every and any circumstance, Christ is there to walk us through it. In other words, in the good, the bad, and the ugly, He is there. Because it’s not all rainbows and sunshine on this side of heaven (clearly). The LORD allows rays of sunshine to peek through, to be sure; but as John Bunyan describes in Pilgrim’s Progress, the walk of the Believer is guaranteed to be challenging with only momentary times of ease. But it’s comforting to know that whether we are at the top of our game or in the pit of despair, we can be content and get through it with Christ.

Christ’s ever-present comfort

I’m certain we would all agree that we’ve had so much to be challenged by lately. Nothing like being thrown into lions’ dens or being turned into human candles as in the early church, but challenged nonetheless. And I want to remind you that you really can get through all of it with Christ, Who will strengthen you. He never promised us an easy life. Actually, as I mentioned earlier, what He did promise us is that if we chose to believe in Him and accept Him as LORD and Savior, we would face persecution and suffering (2 Tim 3:12).

God’s promises

But thank God we know that Christ is glorified even in our suffering; and that ultimately, it will all work out for our good (Rom 8:28). For example, the Chinese church right now is actually growing, despite the crack downs on house churches and the arrests of the devout. The same can be said in Iran. It’s counter intuitive, but it’s incredible how this has happened over the centuries, repeatedly.

You can read several books about contemporary examples of people who have lived by the full meaning Phil. 4:13 as well. Corrie ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are both incredible examples. Both were Believers in Christ during WWII. They found themselves in awful situations that got even worse because of their faith in Christ and their obedience to His Word and Truth.

Praise God that in both cases, Bonhoeffer and ten Boom were able to attest to Christ faithfully strengthening them and helping them be content in horrific circumstances. Christ was carrying them, intimately aware of their suffering. He never lost site of them, despite what it looked like. And the fruit of that dark time was that their testimonies were not only amazing, but beautiful.

All things through Christ

So yes, we really can do all things and be content. When we’re reaching and stretching to achieve something challenging or when we’re struggling just to keep our head’s above water. We can do ALL things through Christ.

LORD remind us of your faithfulness, and give us strength and wisdom in whatever situation You put us in.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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