ANCHOR OF HOPE: A can-do attitude
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13
This verse has brought hope to many Christians and helped them overcome things they never thought possible. In direct context of this passage, Paul states he knows how to be abased and he knows how to abound. He also references experiencing the peace of God that passes all understanding. For every one of us there are situations, decisions, and circumstances that we see as impossible to conquer, accomplish or overcome. It is during these times we can gain hope from such a verse as Philippians 4:13. In this verse there are three important elements to examine: the individual, Christ, and the strength.
Paul is the “I” or in other words the individual within this verse. He is not stating just a hope or wish, but rather a dynamic exclamation of personal experience and commitment. Paul had the confidence to express such a bold statement because he was “all in for all things” concerning Christ. Being all in for all things concerning Christ requires a personal decision. It is a commitment as Paul expressed to the church at Philippi. “I can” — through the good and through the bad, through the calm and through the storm, through success and through failure — I can do all things. Often this verse is used to encourage us to overcome or accomplish something within the physical realm of life. However, there is much more meaning to this verse when we apply it to our spiritual life. Imagine what we can accomplish for Christ if we are all in for all things in our life with Christ.
The hinge of this verse rests solely on the two words “through Christ.” Just as a door would not be able to operate correctly without the hinge, so is the life of a Christian who does not operate their life through Christ. How often do we as Christians try to accomplish goals or overcome a problem, physically or spiritually, within our own strength and fail to examine it through Christ? There is an individual commitment to be all in concerning Christ, but we must realize that the ability to succeed will only come through Christ.
Finally, we look at the strength that is gained when seeking to accomplish or overcome situations through Christ. Some consider it a crutch to live life as a Christian who is completely dependent on Christ for strength. From a Christian’s perspective, fully relying on Christ to meet our spiritual and physical needs is not a crutch, but rather an opportunity to have a lifelong companion that never leaves or forsakes us.
Christ never leads anyone astray. He is always faithful and He never fails. The path before our lives may look daunting, but Christ always assures us that He will give us strength. The decision may seem difficult, but He always gives strength. The sin may seem great and have a vice grip on our lives, but Christ promises the strength to overcome.
There is nothing greater than living a life all in for all things concerning Christ.
Timothy Braddock is pastor of Emerald Coast Baptist Church in Destin and can be reached at Tbraddock@emeraldcoastbc.com.