Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Can't Do It

I Can't Do It
September 26, 2011
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Can't, cannot, these are words in our vocabulary that we use to suggest a reason to give up. If I say, "I can't," it gives me justification to quit. If we say it enough, it allows us to even believe it has truth or merit. If we tell other people we "can't" do something, then hopefully they will believe it, too, relieving us of the pressure of having to go through a struggle or difficult task. It is so much easier to believe in "can't" than it is to believe we can do something difficult. "Can't" gives us an excuse for our laziness or unwillingness, it eliminates hard work. Believing in "can't" also signals defeat; it means you will not even try. It is defeat before the opportunity to fail even occurs.

The Bible teaches that this thinking, this failure that results from "can't" is not an appropriate concept to propagate. In fact, it teaches just the opposite if you are a Christian. The Apostle Paul said, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Other translations of his words read it another way, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." We must be careful in how we interpret his teaching, however, being diligent to read the appropriate meaning into it. Paul was not saying Jesus would give him supernatural abilities or Herculean muscles. Paul was not saying that he would now possess physical skills surpassing that of a human, becoming god-like. Paul was saying that in difficult situations, it was the support from the person of Jesus Christ that would allow him to get through it. Paul was referring to emotional fortitude through difficulty or situational struggles. It was meant as a truth to help us endure hardship, not drawing upon human fortitude but rather spiritual grace from the Lord.

Paul was not even suggesting that the situation would be overturned through the strength of Jesus, but rather that survival through it would be possible. The Lord may not pluck you from the circumstance, requiring you to walk through it. There are many situations in life that I don't think I could emotionally or spiritually endure, like being captured by militants in a hostile nation or watching my child battle cancer. But Paul teaches that emotional and spiritual survival is possible if we use Christ as our bolster. His words are spoken as a guarantee for each new situation, meaning the strength of Christ will always be there for those who trust in Him and draw upon their faith in Him. It is a promise for you and me. Christ will be faithful to us. He will be there with us through our struggles, through our difficulties, through all the situations in life when we want to say, "I can't do it." True, you can't do it on your own, but you CAN do it through the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each of you reading this is going through something that you'd like to quit or change, something difficult in which defeat would seem far easier to accept. But the Lord would like to give you His strength today. For those who are afraid to step out in faith, afraid to venture forward thinking you can't do it, Christ is saying that He will be with you and give you what it takes each step of the way. You may not possess all the strength for the journey up front, but Christ will give you just enough of His fortitude to make it through whatever it is you are dealing with today, right now. Be blessed in knowing you do not walk alone through your struggles. Christ is in the trenches with you through every heartache, every difficulty, every report, every situation or circumstance in which it would be far easier to quit. Quitting is not what the Lord intended for your life and He does not want you to give up now. Draw upon His strength today, dealing with what ails you. You CAN make it through; He promises.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Cor 8:6, 2 Cor 9:8, 1 Tim 1:12, 1 Peter 4:11

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