My husband and I and our four youngest recently went on a cruise to Mexico. Here are some thoughts…
One morning while on the cruise, before the sun even crested the horizon, I was reading Philippians 4. It’s not a new passage for most of us. Many Christians can quote verse thirteen, “I can do all things through him [Christ] who strengthens me.” (ESV,  mine)
But how many of you realize that in this verse Paul is revealing a secret? I didn’t until this morning. It didn’t connect.
Let’s back up a few verses. Verse 11-12, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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.”
Do you see that? He shared his secret with us. The VERY NEXT statement is his secret. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
We can handle anything this world sends at us because Jesus is our strength. We are not, can not be, strong enough alone.
What is it Ecclesiastes says? “Two are
better than one, because they have good reward for their toil… though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (9, 12)
Okay, in these verses the writer is talking about being overcome by an adversary. A man alone has the possibility of overcoming. But two have a better chance. Then Solomon goes on to say that THREE is even harder to overcome.
Where does the third person come from? And what if you are alone (or so it seems)?
First, you are never alone. God is ALWAYS with you. Until your dying breath He is beside you, walking with you, sometimes carrying you, or at other times following behind, shaking His head at what you are walking into. But He lets you do it because He has chosen to give you free will. (I could go on here, but that’s a post for another day.)
God is our third person. And sometimes the second, if necessary. But He is the one that keeps our cord from fraying and fracturing. He keeps us strong. Only in HIS strength can we face what life throws at us.
Many times people blame Satan for all that goes “wrong” in our lives, but let’s be honest. While he may be powerful, he is not THAT powerful. He is not omnipresent. He is not omniscient. He is a created being. Nothing more. He is not a god. He is not God. A lot of our problems come from our own stupid choices or the stupid choices of others. (And again, I could go on here, but I’ll leave it at that.)
So what is the secret?
Relying on God’s strength to do what He has called us to do.
Relying on God’s strength to get through the tough places.
Relying on God’s strength to defeat the enemy (who by the way, has already been defeated) when he comes against us.
Relying on God’s strength to handle “facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
I certainly need to rely on Him more. How about you?
Blessings as we strive to be more like HIM,