"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 ESV
In recent years we've heard a lot about athletes taking performanc-enhancing drugs, a practice called doping. They are looking for whatever will give them an edge. Despite the practice being banned in most sports and the Olympics, athletes continue to take these drugs. When caught, there is usually a loud public denial, followed later by a contrite confession. When this happens, athletes lose titles and awards and are banned from the sport. This has happened in every sport, from baseball to UFC.
With God, there is no need for physically altering chemicals. Our real strength comes from God. The only edge we need is nearby, waiting for us to ask. Everyone one of us experience times when we struggle. Times when we can't see a way out, and we feel completely drained. In those times, we have the assurance God will strengthen us.
Do I think the Apostle Paul meant all things regardless of what they are? Granted, the “all things” is open for interpretation. For example, Would God have given the extra strength to the athletes who doped if they asked? Doubtful, but maybe. If in their asking was not for themselves tut to glorify God. I think what Paul meant specifically was all things for God’s work, which includes spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional welfare.
In our conversations with God through our prayers, we need to humble ourselves and admit that all things are possible only through God. Often we are hesitant to ask, thinking, "we've got this," when we really haven't. God wants to hear from us not because he needs to feel needed, but because he loves us and wants help.
God, thank you for giving us the strength we need when we most need it. We confess we are often prideful and try to do things ourselves, too proud to admit we need help. But our power comes in the recognition that you are the God of “all things.” Please strengthen us for our daily tasks and let our words and actions glorify you. Let us be ever mindful of the workings of the Holy Spirit within us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
What are the things you need strength for today?