I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Great truth, right?

I’m sure you’ve seen that verse around, heard it mentioned, or said it yourself. I’d say Philippians 4:13 ranks up there as one of the most often-quoted verses, somewhere behind John 3:16, Psalm 23, and Jeremiah 29:11.

It’s a great reminder to hold onto, however, don’t forget the context.

Context is key with every verse of the Bible – especially this one. People quote this verse at the gym, right before skydiving, and before walking onto stage in front of a big crowd. Although God can give you strength to face your fears, the context has nothing to do with bench pressing, or overcoming your fear of heights or public speaking.

The context is contentment. Paul, writing from a Roman jail cell (more like a dungeon), chained to a Roman guard, is writing in the final chapter of his letter about contentment. Just look at the verse right before to understand Paul’s train of thought…

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)

Next time that verse comes to mind, remember what it’s really about.

And pray God brings this verse to mind next time you’re overcome with envy or greed. Through Christ’s strength, you can do all things, including being content!

K E V I N • M I L L E R

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