I CAN do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.
I think this single verse, though small, says an incredible amount. There is no circumstance that we might ever find ourselves in, no problem that is so overwhelming or large that can't be faced, or anything we might be handed in this life that is too much for us to handle as long as we look to Christ for our strength. John 15:5 tells us that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING at all.
In this particular passage Paul is talking about how he has learned to be content in whatever state he may find himself. In great want or need, or in comfort and abundance. He was able to do be content in whatever state he was in through Christ who gave him the strength to do so. I think sometimes there is a tendency to take this particular verse and take it to mean that we are capable of doing anything at all as some kind of a Christian super star or something. I personally don't think that is really what it is saying. I take it to mean that in this life we are going to be placed in many different circumstances and situations. Some of them may be wonderful and make us happy and full of joy. Others will be hard, painful and overwhelming, and make us sad and uncomfortable. Jesus gives us the strength to face and do WHATEVER it is we are challenged with and to be content and joyful while we are. Does this make sense?? I may not be explaining it very well.
For the last several months I have been dealing with a GREAT deal of pain in my knees. I am not sure rather it is being caused by the huge amount of weight I am forcing them to carry, or by arthritis that has maybe set in. Maybe it is both of these things. I have finally had some x-rays done and some blood work and I may know something this week. Or I may not find out anything conclusively at all. I have begun a diet and lost 25 pounds (which unfortunately is just a small start) and have recently begun a program that is suppose to really help this problem using a drug free "natural" health method. It is very hard for me to get around let alone be as active as I would really like to be. I have found myself at times begging God to cure me of this and let me just move on with life not dealing with it at all anymore. And yet, I don't know just exactly what it is that is in His will for me. It might be to cure me of this, and maybe not. But I DO know that "whatever" state I will find myself in, He WILL give me the strength to trust Him, and to be content. He WILL give me the strength to endure and live with this if He wants me to do. And He WILL give me the strength to do ALL things. So I take this to mean my job is to press on doing everything that it is that I am capable of doing, with a happy and contented spirit, looking only to Him for my strength...
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