One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I love this verse. I meditate on it frequently. But I also hate this verse. I have a tendency to only read and meditate on part of it. And that gets me into all sorts of trouble. If I focus only on the first part, I can do all things, well, just read my last post and you’ll see what happens! That’s what happens when we take verses out of context. We miss the point. The point of this verse isn’t doing everything and asking God to bless our doing. We need to rely fully and wholly on Christ first. He is the one who gives us strength.
When the entire verse is read in context, the meaning becomes so much clearer. Paul is talking about contentment. About making the decision to be content in all circumstances. When full or when hungry, when we have plenty or if we’re in need. The true meaning of I can do is I can be strong or I have the strength to overcome. I find the strength in Christ when I give him my life. He tells us that His yoke is good (the translation says “easy”, but the Greek really means “virtuous” or “good”).
It’s when I add to His yoke that life gets crazy and I start to feel overwhelmed. It’s when I start focusing on myself that I might start to feel depressed. If I get my priorities straight, everything falls into place. It may not be easy as we define things, but He never told us it would be. He told us to follow him. And to be content in all circumstances. Even if those circumstances keep me running from sun-up to sun-down. Even if those circumstances aren’t always what I’d like. So I’m going to try harder to get things in the right order. Jesus gives me strength, and with His strength, I can be strong.