Day Five: I can do all things…
(Read Philippians 4:10-14)
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.
When Saint Paul wrote his thank you letter to the church in Philippi, he wrote with a sense of gratitude for all that they had given him, but his words contained a subtle reminder that there are times when the going gets tough for God’s church. Sometimes Paul didn’t have enough, but he found a way to carry on. As important as our gifts are to the work of the church, the greater good that comes from our gift is in the way our giving changes us and redirects our thinking about God. The church will be content with whatever is given, for the church, following the lead of Paul, trusts in the power of God and believes that we can do all things through God who strengthens us.
Your gift is important to the church, but it is more important to you. For by your giving, you are affirming a relationship that exists between you and God. By your giving, you are prioritizing God in your life. By your acts of stewardship of time, treasure, and talent, you are defining who you are and whose you are.
Life has its ups and downs, its good times and bad times. Like Paul, most of us have experienced times of being well-fed and times of going hungry. Paul’s secret isn’t very secret… it is at the heart of every Christian life. Trust in God and know that you can do all things through God who strengthens you.
As you prepare to complete your pledge card, ask yourself these questions: Do I really believe that I can do all things through God who strengthens me? Do I trust God enough to take a faithful step forward in my Christian walk? Do I trust God enough to give all that my heart wants to give?
God, I believe; help my unbelief. You strengthen me every day of my life, yet I continue to trust more in myself than in you. Give me the peace that comes from surrendering my will to yours. I know that you will not abandon me. Amen.