Having spoken about things that are good for the mind (vv.8-9), Paul now speaks first of something that is good for the soul – giving.
He writes that he was pleased, that he rejoiced that the Philippians had revived their concern for him, and how pleased he was that they had opportunity to show this concern through giving and support (v.10).
But, he writes, he is not rejoicing because he had need, no, because Paul knew and had learned how to be content in any and all circumstances (v.11). Do you know this? Have you learned this?
He has learned, through experience, how to be brought low, how to abound, how to face plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. Simply, Paul has found the secret to a truly contented life. Have you?
He writes that the secret to this is the fact that he can do all things through him who strengthens me (v.13).
Sadly for some, this is not a triumphant declaration that being a believer means that you can do anything and everything you so choose, as your favourite Christian sports star misusing this verse might have you believe. It’s actually about Paul’s ability to be content in all circumstances; being rich, being poor, having enough, not having enough, being celebrated, or being stoned. All of these things he can do through the power of Jesus who strengthens him.
Have you found this strength? Have you found and learned the truth in the statement of Philippians 4.13, that no matter what is going on around you, you can do all things through him who strengthens you?
So often misused and abused, this is actually a wonderful verse, a crowning statement at the end of a paragraph fraught with the difficulties that we will all face in life.
There are two things, then, that we can take from this today; first, it is good to give (v.10, 14), and second, that no matter what we are going through, there is already willing and waiting the strength for you to be content in that (vv.12-13).