Misinterpreting PHILIPPIANS 4:13
What are the spiritual dangers in using this verse for self-motivated goals?
- Disillusionment with God for not making our circumstances better.
- Creates the false idea that we can do anything, but we can’t.
CONTENTMENT: everyone wants it
What is contentment?
Inner joy despite outward circumstances.
What is the secret to contentment?
Trust God that He will give you strength to handle anything.
Philippians 4:13 is not a call to accomplish great self-motivated goals, but a reminder to trust God in the midst of the ups and downs of life as you’re sold out to the cause of Christ.
1. Discuss the difference between the phrases “I can do all things” and “I can handle all things” and how 4:13 has been taken out of context for self-motivated goals. Talk about how the wrong application might make you miss out on the deep meaning behind trusting in God to take care of your needs (it’s more than a 5K, 3-pointer, touchdown).
2. Read about Paul’s sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). How would you handle all of these issues? Imprisoned, flogged, 40 lashes 5x, beaten with rods 3x, stoned, shipwrecked 3x, bandits, lacked sleep, hunger, thirst, cold, naked, pressure for churches, feels weak, temptation.
3. Read Hebrews 13:5; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Ecclesiastes 5:10. How does the Bible describe a content person? What must be important to you in order for you to discover contentment?
4. It appears that the fear of the Lord leads to contentment (Proverbs 19:23; 15:16). What does it mean to fear the Lord? How can you specifically show God that you fear Him?
Applying the Bible
5. Are you in a difficult circumstance right now? Do you wish you were at a different level economically, educationally, professionally, socially? Learn to be content. Focus this week on trusting God that you are right where He wants you for the moment.
6. Do you need to put away some self-motivated goals that might be affecting your family or faith in a negative way? Be honest with yourself and give something up if the Holy Spirit is convicting you.