Belief is a very important thing. It is not just a matter of denomination; it is not just a matter of being involved with a group, a tribe, a click, or a cult. Belief has all to do with the philosophy that you live by… your vision, your purpose, and your goals.
As Christians, we should understand that God is concerned about belief and the concept of believing in Him. Even though we make mistakes, we are considered righteous by the mere fact that we believe in Him. However, God is also concerned about the individuals that do not believe. When we decide to believe in God, we inherit His power that defeats the enemy on any level.
Now, believing in God is important. Nevertheless, believing in yourself is also imperative. Paul writes, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Before he mentions Christ, he mentions himself. We are so amazed that he believes in God that we overlook the fact that he believes in himself. Philippians 4:13 is often quoted, but do you believe it like you need to for the level of devil that we fight?
Wherever You Are, Take Your Belief with You
One of the greatest privileges of my job in NASCAR as a Tire Changer is being able to interact with individuals up-close that I have seen from afar off. I’ve met a few incredibly successful people who were not positive and/or confident about themselves. And, none of them are any more gifted than you or I. In fact, in many cases, they are less gifted, less talented, and less skilled. They don’t have more than you, they just think differently than you.
Just before Paul says, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength,” he recounts some of the different circumstances he’s found himself in: he’s been hungry and well-fed, he’s been in need and he’s been well off, he’s learned to be content, no matter what his circumstances are.
Paul isn’t juxtaposing these circumstances to suggest that one is better than the other. He’s using these extremes to highlight that he understands the range of human experience. Paul understands the challenges that come with each position. He isn’t a rich person telling a poor person to be happy with what they have (or vise versa), and he’s not sitting there on a full stomach telling hungry people to get over it.
He’s saying that no matter what your circumstances are, you can learn to be content. How does he know? Because he’s tested it, and he’s proved it. How does he do it? That’s where verse 13 comes in.
Belief Has Purpose
If you read the NIV translation of verse 13, you’ll notice an important distinction from most other translations: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” (emphasis added). When we read “this” instead of “things,” it’s a lot more clear that the passage is referring to specific things – all the things Paul has been talking about, not “all things” in the sense that we can do anything.
In context, “I can do all things” is the ministry that God has sent Paul to do. He can persevere, share the gospel, and be content in any situation. Not on his own, but through Christ who strengthens him.
This verse is so misused because many Christians interpret “all things” as “anything,” not “all the things Paul has talked about.” It’s not a blanket endorsement that God will support anything we set out to do and empower us to do whatever impossible things we can imagine. It’s an assurance that we can do whatever God calls us to do, not whatever we decide to do.
This isn’t a biblical exhortation you can stamp on whatever goals you have professionally, personally, or physically. It’s an encouragement that God can give you the strength to be content, no matter what.
So What’s The Play Call?
- Do you believe in you?
- When was there a time when you put your faith in man and ended up disappointed?
- In what ways have you experienced God providing for you in a time of need?
Believing in yourself is half of the battle. Once you have accomplished that in addition to adding God into the equation, you will be undefeated. Think about it.