by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Philippians 4:12-13 “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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Quite often, Philippians 4:13 is taken out of context. Some will use it as a slogan to encourage fellow Christians to push themselves towards great things as defined by the world; such as completing a marathon, getting fantastic grades and even marrying a partner of choice. However, what verse 13 defines as “all things” is closely related to verse 12. “All things” mean the spectrum of things that God wants us to do as He wills; and not as we desire. This spectrum of things, be it to be brought low or abound; having plenty or hunger; abundance or need are to be endured or enjoyed so that His will be done. The idea is that because it is Christ who strengthens me, therefore I can be contented in Him; whatever the circumstance.
So contrary to popular beliefs, Philippians 4:13 is quite a “tall” order to live by. Even for the Apostle Paul, he was telling the Philippians that he “learned” the secret of doing so through his life journey; and not merely as a popular faith-statement to claim. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Question is, am I prepared to do all things as the Lord commands? If so, we need not look very far but just need to examine our private world. In our private world, are we doing all things that need to be done in order to glorify Him? Are we prepared to deny ourselves, be brought low so that yes we can abound in His grace and mercy?
May the Lord help us in His grace to be able to proclaim that we will indeed do all things in Christ who strengthens us!