Recently, it snowed in much of the country. In fact, it snowed in parts of the country that rarely (within several decades to a quarter century) if ever see snow. For some, especially children, this was welcome. It meant school was either virtual or canceled. So most kids played in the snow and made memories to last a life time. For others, it meant seeing basic necessities (anything from food to power) running scarce or not being available at all. What do such times mean for those of us who are followers of Christ? Consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Most of us use this verse extremely out of context. We use it to say "I can win the game" or "I can get the Job interview" or "I can face this challenge ahead of me." While we can, perhaps, do all of these things in Christ, this isn't what this means. What if you lose the game, or don't get the job, or utterly fail at getting past the obstacles in your path? What then? Is God ignoring you? He is not! The verse is not about overcoming. It's about being content in all circumstances.
Many of us are looking at our current situations as obstacles. They very well may be. Yet have we considered, whether in plenty or in need, each circumstance provided to us is another opportunity to stop and depend on God through Christ Jesus? Have we stopped in each circumstance, and prayed in the Spirit to thank God for it (even in times of drought)? Each and every event we live through should cause us to pause, be still, and recognize God's providence, even when it seems small. In this way, we can say, with Paul, that we can truly do all things through Him who gives us strength, for He is the source of our contentment.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.