Philippians 4:12-13 KJV “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
What powerful words! They are inspired words of God spoken through a man who really knew what he was saying. The apostle Paul experienced the best of times and the worse of them. But through them all he maintained his faith. That’s not as easy a task as some might think. It is a constant battle.
True Faith is not a possession of all people. (2 Thessalonians 3:2) Jesus Himself prophesied many would turn away from the faith. (Matthew 24:10 1 Timothy 4:1) And He encouraged many to believe and hold on to what they have. (Revelation 3:11) What makes people like Paul stay true to the faith despite going through the harshest persecution? They desire God more than anything else. They don’t put any other gods before Him, including themselves.
People like Job, Jeremiah, folks like David, Daniel, Deborah, and the best example Jesus Christ, valued their relationships with God more than anything else. Studying their lives shows us how to win the fight for the faith.
1 Timothy 6:12 KJV “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
Jude 1:3 KJV “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
“I CAN DO ALL THINGS?”
So often we hear people use the phrase, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” They are quoting Philippians 4:13. But many don’t know what verse 12 says. Verse 12 gives us the context of what verse 13 means. Paul by the Holy Spirit was saying that whether he was having it good or bad, whether well fed or hungry, he knew how to serve God acceptably in both circumstances. Not all people will serve God if they are hungry or in need. But a person with true faith will.
Are we willing to do and go through, “All Things,” for the name of Christ? Do not even true friends go through the good and bad times together? Isn’t this the test of a good marriage? Human nature teaches us that folks are willing to suffer for whatever they want. The question is, how much do we want God? Do we really believe in Him? Do we believe His word?
As we hold on to our Faith in our Lord and Savior ALL THE TIME, THROUGH BOTH GOOD AND BAD TIMES, we too will be able to truthfully say like Paul, ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.’ Jesus gives us the secret to success in the next passage:
Matthew 7:24-27 NIV “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Did you catch the secret to success? Yes, we must hear Jesus’ words and put them into practice. That means we must study His words. They’re found in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The person who diligently studies God’s word and genuinely puts them into practice will have a healthy faith. He/She too will be able to say like the apostle Paul, ‘I can do all things through christ who strengthens me.’ “I KNOW BOTH HOW TO BE ABASED, AND I KNOW HOW TO ABOUND.”
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