The fourth verse in our series is a very popular one (hence it’s #4 ranking…). It’s Philippians 4:13“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Though I’m not sure, we entirely understand this verse correctly.

The real magic of this verse is found in the context of the previous verses: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

I often hear this verse being quoted as a sort of mantra. The kind of saying superheros say right before they rescue falling planes or save a kid falling from a sky scraper. “I can do everything through Him who gives me Strength.” Then off we go, into the wild blue yonder.

However, in the context of the paragraph and the entire book, this verse has much more to do with contentment and the source of real joy. Our real joy is not found in conquering things, beating the competition or winning the race. Real joy is found in making ourselves more and more like Christ. Christ, who had no place to lay his head, weary feet, a weary body and bore the burdens of all who surrounded him.

This is where we find our joy in life. Whether we are in need or have more than we know what to do with. Whether things are going our way or everything’s hitting the fan. Whether we’re suffering or celebrating. Joy in it all. We can do everything because we have been strengthened by a savior. We can do everything because the one who went before us, bore more than we could ever imagine and did so with joy.

To read the rest of the series, click here. 

In what circumstance have you learned joy?