I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO
STRENGTHENS ME. (Philippians 4:13)
Within this one verse, Christians can find hope, courage, support, and the will to persevere through “all things” that we encounter in this life. It is a simply stated verse with profound implications and possibilities for each one of us. What have we done with this verse in our lives? What does it really mean for you and me?
Instead of looking at the whole of the statement, an analysis of the individual parts can explain why this verse is so important to each Christian:
“I” The first word makes the entire verse very directed to me with the use of the personal pronoun “I.” It means that “I” am the one speaking these words—aloud, in writing, while reading, in thought, in prayer.
“CAN” It is possible for me, but the word “can” also reveals that it is up to me. “I can” if I want to; “I can” if I have courage to try; “I can” if I have faith to believe; “I can” when I seek God’s help. The use of this word shows if I don’t have the “I can” belief, it is unlikely I will proceed to action.
“DO” This is the follow through to “I CAN.” It is up to me to act on the belief that “I can” in order to “do all things.” The little engine that kept saying “I think I can, I think I can” would not have made it to the top and over the mountain – if it hadn’t gone beyond merely thinking the words. The little engine needed to act, and so must I.
“All” In many situations, a statement containing the “all” word is too inclusive, making it false. There are almost always exceptions to “all.” If we didn’t read the entire verse, stopping at “I can do all things”—then the statement would be untrue. By myself, I cannot do all things. This means I must recognize my dependence on God who can help me “do all.”
“Things” We tend to think of “things” in respect to physical objects. Yet, a “thing” has an expansive range of coverage. It has no specific name—so it can be just about anything. God has no limitations. Only I can limit what He wants to do for me —and what He wants me to do for Him.
“Through Christ” He is the Way. He is the Door. I must go “through” Him to “do all things.”
“Who” A pronoun replaces and references a noun. The noun in this case is Christ. There is no other “Who” but Him. Jesus Christ is the “Who” strengthening me– so “I can do all things.”
“Strengthens” Christ holds me up when I feel I cannot and helps me see that “I can” with- and through- Him.
“Me” Full circle in the verse- from “I” in the beginning and back to “me” in the ending–I see that I truly need Him. Christ is my personal Cheerleader, my personal Coach, my personal Example, my personal Friend, my personal Savior, my personal Redeemer.
Although the verse begins with “I” and ends with “me,” it is not about me. It is always about Him. Alone, I am a weak vessel. Through Him, I can become stronger and “do all things” that He wants me to do and get through—for Him.
Have we really examined this verse to become fully aware of the meaning, the possibilities, the hope, and the promise God is so willing to offer to us? They are endless, but the words I must say and act upon, with unfailing belief, in order to do all things are —“I can through Christ.”
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/19/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word