“I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.”Philippians 4:13
I think a lot of times we take Bible verses and twist them to create the best finished product we can. It’s our human default. Growing up I used to watch the TV show I Dream of Jeannie. It was fun watching a normal, goofy guy being granted wishes from his own personal genie through all kinds of crazy hijinks. Sometimes, I think we like to look at God as a genie in a bottle, waiting around to grant our wishes. That would be nice, but it’s not who God is.
Philippians 4:13 is NOT saying that if we are Christians, then all our problems will be solved. All our bills will be paid. Everyone will be healed, every golf shot goes in the hole, and every prayer is answered just the way we want. To understand what Paul meant, we have to go back two verses. See verse 11 -12: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
This gives us a hint to the true meaning of our verse. Paul is saying because of his hope in Jesus Christ, he has learned to be content in times of great joy or times of pain, times of victory or in times of loss. He says, “I can do ALL things.” I can go through anything. I can walk through any season of my life. I can face any trial, test, or storm, because of the promise that Christ gives me the strength to do it.
Somebody once said, “Jesus doesn’t always take the storms of life away from us, but He does give us the strength to walk through them.” That kind of strength my friends, is so much better than having a genie in a bottle.