The biggest trick of the enemy is to persuade us to give up. The enemy will put thoughts in our heads to convince us that we are inadequate, weak, or incompetent to do a particular task or to fulfill a dream. When we let these thoughts grow in our minds, we begin to talk ourselves into believing that we can live improved lives. For some, this means writing a book, getting off drugs, raising a child as a single parent, or surviving off very little resources. When we meet this type of roadblock, believing that we cannot, we must recite Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Some things we cannot do. We do not have the capacity to do them. A person addicted to anything (whether it’s drugs, sex, alcohol, lying, or shopping) cannot break this stronghold single-handedly. A single mother taking care of one or more children needs help. Gathering thoughts and resource to fulfill a dream like writing a book is something that requires discipline, focus, and money. The truth is we cannot do it with our own power, but we do have Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus Christ, we do more than we can do in our human capacity. We do not have to live limited lives. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Sometimes we are not trying to reach specific goals or break some type of habit. We are struggling with enduring suffering, hurt, pain and beginning our journey of healing. We often try to handle suffering by ourselves. We hurt alone. We do not know how to begin the healing process. The truth is that Jesus provides us with the way and the strength to get through all suffering, whether it is the loss of loved ones, a bad doctor’s report, or rejection. Jesus gives us strength. Like spinach gave Popeye strength when he was under attack, so does Jesus. He does not make our physical muscles greater, but he does give us joy, comfort, and guidance through these difficult times. He gives us muscle power to forgive, to love, and to move on when people hurt and disappoint us. We can do it because Jesus gives us the strength.
Jesus provides us strength through his word. The Bible read and preached strengthens our faith. Jesus uses other people to give us strength. He will send someone to us to hold our arms up, to encourage us, and provide us with the help we need to do the things we need to do. Jesus will give us rest. We need rest and peace to renew our strength. When we go through phases in our lives when no one is calling, we are not hanging out on Friday nights, and we find ourselves alone with nothing to do.
Jesus is giving us an opportunity to rest. Sometimes Jesus strengthens us by giving us a work out. He permits some things to happen to test our faith. These are small exercises to get us ready for the heavier weights. As we engage in this weight routine, and we are required to lift something that looks to heavy, we will find that we can lift it with no problem—because Jesus has already strengthened us to handle this situation. Then, we will testify, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”