PHILIPPIANS 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

OBSERVATION: Can I really do “all things” through Christ who strengthens me? If I take this Scripture and stand it alone, out of its’ context, it really causes a lot of confusion and sets one up for great disappointment in life.  Can I be a center in a professional basketball team simply because I am a Christian? Can I win a gold medal in cross country skiing simply because I am a Christian? Can I get the first job I apply for simply because I am a Christian? I think the answer is obvious. At 5 feet, 9 inches tall, I doubt that a center position on the San Antonio Spurs is in my future. So what does this Scripture really mean?

The most important thing in understanding the Scriptures is context, context, context. To understand the meaning of a verse of Scripture we must understand the context of what the writer was saying before and after the verse being considered. The context of Paul’s statement was “contentment”.

“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians‬ ‭4:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Paul had previously commended the Philippian believers for their generosity in supporting him in his ministry. However, Paul reminds them that in every situation he has learned to be “content”. What is “contentment”? Paul gives us the answer.

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Contentment” is defined as – “a state of happiness or satisfaction”. For the Christian it is not tied to their circumstances, it is rooted and grounded in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus told us that He gave us His Word so that we might have joy, and that our joy may be full. Jesus also reminded us that in the world we would have tribulation, but we are to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. We can have confidence and peace in any situation. And how is this possible?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 ESV

This is the context, this is the promise. It is not a carte blanche to do, become, and get everything we want in life. It is the promise of Grace that is sufficient for everything we face in life. We can be brought low, or we can abound. We can be hungry, or we can feast. In all of these situations we can find contentment in Jesus Christ for He always give us the Grace we need! He always strengthens us! He is our victory, our joy, and our peace!

Lord, thank You for Your “All Sufficient Grace”! Pour Your Grace upon me this morning and let me walk in Your Joy, Peace, and Love. Thank You that I truly can “…do all things through You…”! In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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