Surpassing All Understanding

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

So today I was sitting in church, listening to a great sermon, and the Lord revealed something to me that sort of blew me away.    You know the scripture that says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?  Well, well.  This was a new spin for me.  I had to hold onto my seat.  I have always understood that to mean that, heck, I could become the President if it’s His will.  I could leap tall buildings with a single bound, if He chose for me to do that.   Yes, I do believe that anything the Lord calls us to, He makes a way for us to do it.  No doubt.

But here’s the revelation.   I was having internal dialogue with the Lord as my pastor was preaching and He revealed to me that humility is the key.   Humility leads to peace.  And if we have peace, there is not one situation, not one that we could ever face, that we cannot go through with His strength.    Yes, we can endure, we can survive, we can enjoy-  we can do all of it, through Christ who strengthens us.  And with what does he strengthen us?  Peace. His strength in us is peace.

Think about it.  If you lose someone you dearly love but you have peace, then you can make it through with strength.   If you win the lottery and have an overabundance of stuff but have no peace, what good is it?   There is no greater commodity.

I can have peace through every circumstance in life if I view that circumstance through the eyes of the Lord, through the eyes of humility.  Wow.  Could this also be a way to read this scripture?  Is that what He meant, I thought? So I went to the chapter to see what surrounds this verse.  Take a look at this!

Philippians 4: 4-13

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

10 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. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 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. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

What are we to do?   First of all, rejoice.  Praise God in all things.  That’s humility. We surrender to God all that we want and all that we are.   Surrender it.  Be reasonable and not demanding of what we want.   That means having surrendered, we are not angry because we are only angry over things we cannot control. (Selah)  Then we place our minds on the things that God holds dear, thus gaining the mind of Christ which is humility.  And Paul, having been in completely awful circumstances of persecution now says that he can face every one of them. Look at the progression of thought.  It’s peace.   He’s not saying that he can play basketball like Michael Jordan if he wants.  He’s saying that he can endure and enjoy all things because his humility and surrender have brought him peace.  And if we have peace, we have all that we need.

Takeaway:   We can do (go through, endure, enjoy) all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens us. He strengthens us by bringing us the peace that passes all understanding.  Peace comes only through humble surrender of our thoughts and our ways to God Himself. It may take some spiritual surgery to make it there, but peace is attainable for all of us, through Christ. Press on to the goal.    

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank You for Your peace.   You are the only source of peace.   I surrender my own thoughts, my own ways to you.   I forgive all those who have sinned against me, to include me.   I ask you to purify me and create a clean heart in me and grant me your peace.   Your peace, in my soul, Lord, is all I truly need in this life.

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