Let’s refuse to be those who only know what the Bible doesn’t mean, and let’s find out what it actually means. God’s word is profitable, even those verses that are misunderstood and abused. I’m glad I dug in to learn what Philippians 4:13 meant. It is incredibly encouraging, and I want more to be strengthened and satisfied in Christ alone through it. So let’s be a people who love to know our God and live on every word that comes from His mouth.
In our study of Philippians, I got a chance to teach Philippians 4:10-13. As it is when you dig into God’s word, I was very encouraged to consider Paul’s Christian contentment in every circumstance. And then… there was that verse. You know… the one. The verse that makes it into every pre-game speech and every pre-test declaration. The one that makes you roll your eyes. Even without saying it, you know which one I’m talking about. And you definitely know what it doesn’t mean. And as I was studying it, I had a list of about ten things that it didn’t mean. But here’s the problem: I had to teach that verse. I couldn’t just be an expert in what it didn’t mean. I needed to know what it actually meant.
It is really easy to be an expert in what things don’t mean. I hear that verse, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13), and I immediately have my defenses up. My mind says, “That’s not what that means!” But unfortunately, that’s normally where it stops. All I’ve done is to discard a false idea, while failing to replace it with a true one. That’s the danger of only being an expert in what things don’t mean.