Athletes, students, parents, the godly and the not so godly use it.
It’s the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Quite honestly, I too have used it with my children when they say they can’t.
But Paul never meant this verse as some cheerleader chant to say when we want to give up.
This verse does not refer to winning the big game or passing the huge test.
Paul quoted this referring to fact that no matter the situation, he had learned to be content.
Ouch, contentment is not a topic many like.
In fact, most of us are not content with what we have, we are always striving for more.
Yet, here Paul says that He has learned to be content whether rich or poor, well fed or hungry. In plenty or in want.
That no matter what his “situation” he knew he could be okay with it because the Lord was His strength.
If anyone could truly say this, it was Paul.
Growing up, he was from a wealthy family. He trained under the best. He was well-educated and respected.
Then the Lord wrecked his life and he was never the same.
Now instead of the good, he is shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, cold, in prison and alone.
All for the sake of the Gospel, all for the sake of His Lord.
Still, despite it all, he knows how to be content.
Paul knew that his situation was not the issue.
He knew that as long as his focus was fixed on Christ. As long as the Lord was His strength. As long as He held fast to the Lord, He could indeed be content.
For me though I have yet to fully grasp this, though I’m trying.
Too often my gaze is set on my situation instead of my God.
Because of this, I am far from content.
I’m praying that the Lord would set my eyes, my heart and my mind fully upon HIM.
For as my gaze is fixed on HIM, as I truly trust in HIM.
Then despite the winds, the rains, the pain or the storms.
I can stand firm. I can stand strong, like the tree planted by the waters.
Oh, I’m a far way from being content in all situations and I have much to learn from Paul.
But, I’m striving to set my gaze on Jesus and hold fast to Him.
Knowing that when I do, only then can I “do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”