Summary: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Some of the most popular verses in the Bible

Several people would state verse 13 as fav, as it is mine

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me

As we approach the end of another year

We participate in an hear about several traditions

Of course there are the parties, some of them wild

Eating black-eyed peas and hog jowl

Cabbage, all supposed to bring good luck

Happy New Year will be said and heard for at least the first few days or weeks

And the ever popular New Year’s resolutions

Modern resolutions are usually things like, lose weight, quit smoking, get out of debt

But did you know that early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment

Times have changed

Unwanted tradition, writing wrong date on checks

I’m real bad about that

Least popular tradition of this time of year

Very painful one, tradition of depression

These last few months of the year

Thanksgiving - New Years can be the hardest for some to go through

Family is the focus of these holidays and this can be very hard on people that have lost loved ones

Mrs. Jessie Lee, hates fall

So these holidays are depressing

Many are going through that as we speak

Maybe you are or someone you know

Questions like What happened? Why? What do I do now? How will I get through this?

Plague people of all sorts

And not just this time of year

And not just people that have lost loved ones

Many people, even Christians battle depression

And it can be so hard to find the good in any situation

But we must focus on the good

Reminds me of a story about a newlywed farmer and his wife

Mother-in-law visit demanding an inspection

Genuinely tried to be friendly

Hoping for non-antagonistic relationship

To no avail, nagged at every opportunity

Demanding changes, offering unwanted advice and generally making life unbearable

Walking through the barn during forced inspection

Mule suddenly reared up kicked mother in head killing instantly

Shock no matter their feelings toward her

Funeral few days later farmer stood near casket and greeted folks

Pastor noticed whenever a woman whispered to farmer

He would nod and say something

When man walked and talked he would shake his head no

And mumble a reply

Pastor later asked farmer what that was all about

Explained women would say what a terrible tragedy

And I would nod and say yes it was

The men would ask, can I borrow that mule

And I would shake my head no and say

Can’t, its all booked up for a year.

There is always a sunny side of life

But sometimes it can be to difficult to find

To find the joy in certain situation

But we can get through tough times

Only with God’s help

I can get through this God, because of your strength

The book of Philippians is Paul’s joy letter

The purpose

To thank the Philippians for their gift

To send along some instruction on Christian unity

To mainly strengthen these believers

How? By showing them that true joy comes from Jesus Christ alone

The concept of rejoicing or joy appears 16 times in these 4 short chapters

Leads us to the key verse of the book “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice”

I. I Can Rejoice - REJOICE!

A. Rejoice in the Lord

Paul tells them to rejoice, in the Lord

This is the 13th time joy or rejoice appears

But the 1st time said in the Lord

This signifies the sphere in which the believer’s joy exists

Our rejoicing shouldn’t depend on circumstance in life

Its related to our unchanging relationship to our Sovereign Lord

Unchanging in the fact that God never changes

Our perception or level of happiness may change based on our sinful lives, our part of the deal may change, but God doesn’t.

B. Rejoice, Are you Happy?

Happiness evokes visions of

Unwrapping Christmas presents

Sunset stroll on the beach with a loved one

Laughing until you cry

Emily said shopping all the time (8 going on 15)

Everyone wants to be happy

It can become a life long pursuit

Spend life time spending money

Collecting things

Searching for new experiences

But that all is dependent happiness

What happens when

The money runs out

Loved ones die

Our health deteriorates

And the party’s over

Our dependent happiness flees and often despair sets in

Are you happy?… A better question is…

C. Are you Joyful?

Joy runs deeper and stronger

Joy is quiet confident assurance of God’s love and work in our lives, in our church, in everything we do

That joy will be there no matter what

Joy depends on Christ!

Christ will not let you down (Don’t let us down Lord?)

God didn’t call us to be happy, He called us to be holy

So rejoice IN THE LORD, always Rejoice

I can rejoice

II. I Can Refuse to Worry!

Verses 5-6 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (or the Lord is near) Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God”

A. The Lord is near

Not over there yelling encouraging words from afar

What a comfort

God Himself encompassed all believers with His presence

15 times throughout His Word God states that He will not forsake or abandon His children

Hebrews 13:5 “for He saith, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Ro 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s force will be with you … always


So that should help us to have…

B. No anxiety

Anxiety is self-centered, counterproductive worry

Not legitimate cares and concerns

Its ok to have cares and concerns

Its ok to worry about how bad the Razorbacks are going to get beat in the Cotton Bowl

Fret and worry indicate a lack of trust in:

God’s wisdom

God’s sovereignty

God’s power

So I can’t worry?

How do I do that?

Now I’m worried that I worry to much, should that worry me?

Here is a story from Amy in Miami Beach about anxiety and worry Dancing Potato Chips

Not long ago I had “one of those days. I had company arriving in a couple of days and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the “its my first day” teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for supper.

Deciding on mushroom soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten milk at the store. Scratch the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned.

My husband is not a picky eater, but even he wont eat baked beans that look like caterpillars. Really frustrated by now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition free: hot dogs and potato chips.

Retrieving a brand new bag from the pantry, I grabbed the top and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn’t open. With a loud pop, the bag suddenly gave way ripping wide open from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high, I was left holding the bag, and it was empty. It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

My husband heard my cry for help and was standing in the kitchen doorway within seconds. He surveyed the damage: an open can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in chips. My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at that moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. He then began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into the linoleum in the process. I stared, I fumed, pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile, eventually I laughed

Finally I decided to join him. I too took a leap into the chips then I danced. Now I’ll be the first to admit that my husband’s response wasn’t the one I was looking for. But the truth is it was exactly what I needed. I didn’t need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that

Has God ever stomped on your chips? There have been plenty of times when I’ve gotten myself into frustrating situations and I’ve cried out for help, all the while hoping God would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I’ve made of things

What often happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but in the manner that is best for me after all. Do I trust Him? Even when He’s dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping? Can I let His joy adjust my attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I willing to learn the steps of the dance He’s dancing with my needs in mind?

He really does know what He is doing. He loves you and you can trust Him. Even when the chips are down.

It is to easy for us to worry about everyday things

Even the little things

Delighting in the Lord and meditating on His word are a great antidote to worry

Delighting in His Joy

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything…present your requests to God.”

It says but in everything


Well not work, God isn’t concerned about that meeting I have this week or that project I absolutely must complete over the next few months

Everything? No not at school. He isn’t concerned with World History class, or Algebra, or what my team is doing this year

Everything? No He’s not concerned with how much work I need to get done around the house, and those projects I have planned for this coming year.

YES HE IS CONCERNED, about those things

Things that are important to you, because you are important to Him

Its easy to think God is concerned about church things

I mean, He’s God

But He is concerned about every aspect of your life

And since He is concerned about the little things

How much more is He concerned about spiritual things

Imagine never being anxious about anything

It seems impossible doesn’t it?

Follow Paul’s advice

“by prayer and supplication ( or petition) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Turn your worries into prayers

Do you want to worry less? Then pray more

Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.

C. His answers? What are His answers

I can refuse to worry, the Lord is near, No anxiety

But How will God answer these petitions?

Verse 7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

He answers with tranquility AHHHHHH!

Crystal Light commercial

It transcends all understanding

The full dimensions of God’s love and care are beyond human comprehension

It says he shall keep you hearts and minds

Another way to say this would be he will guard your hearts and minds

This is actually a military term meaning “to keep watch over”

Like a sentry standing guard

God’s peace guards believers from anxiety, doubt, fear and distress

Another version translates this verse this way

“And then the peace of God which transcends all our powers of thought will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in union with Christ Jesus”

A garrison = body of troops stationed at a military post

That is the kind of protection provided by Jesus Christ to guard our hearts

So no need to worry for


III. I Can Remain Content!

Verse 11 “For I have learned in whatever state I am in, therewith to be content”

What does it mean to be content?

Willing to accept a situation or comply with a proposed course of action

Accept something as adequate despite wanting something more or better

Lets look at Paul’s situation

Letter written in A.D. 61

While in prison in Rome

Hardly seems the place to be speaking of being content and joyful

In order to get an idea of what the world thought of Christians (a derogatory term) at this time I want to read the historian Tacitus’ account of the famous burning of Rome…

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find there center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crossed, or were doomed to flames and burnt, to serve as nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

And you thought Christians have it rough today?

Now the burning of Rome happened after Paul had wrote this letter

But it shows how Christians were treated in those days

Paul had spent years inside dark filthy prisons

Eating foul food

Put into stocks, his legs and arms stretched as far as could

Locked in those stocks for days, muscles knotted and aching

Tortured and beaten, stoned and left for dead

But he still rejoiced, still was content

No matter the circumstances

Sure he wanted better

He had rather stayed at Rome’s Holiday Inn Express or Hawthorn Suites (where every rooms a suite)

So how can he say to be content?

We would think Paul had every right to complain

The beatings and torture

Wrongfully imprisoned

People making up lies, turning church folks against him

He knew how to be content

How to be satisfied

What is his secret?


Verse 13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

All things!

Difficulties in verse 12

How to get along with humble means

Going hungry

Suffering need

But also in prosperity

Live in prosperity

Having abundance

All things

The word strengthen the Greek word for strengthen means “to put power in”

Because believers are in Christ, He infuses them with His strength to sustain them

I can get through the good times and the bad

I can make it until that next pay check

I can make it through this medical problem

I can get through this amazingly hard time in my life

I can get through this next year

How? With Christ who strengthens us

Can we really do anything?

The power we receive from Christ is sufficient to do His will

And to face any challenges that arise

We always hear there are two things for sure

Death and taxes

But Job 5:7 says there is another

“For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.”

Job is saying as inevitable as it is that sparks off a fire go up

So inevitable it is that people are going to have trouble

You may be having troubles

This next year may be full of troubles

And how we handle those troubles is so important

We can respond in so many different ways

Fear, doubt, confusion, sadness, depression

But these all stem from worry, lack of trust

We can rejoice

We can refuse to worry

We can remain content

We can really do all things

We must do as Paul did and look at life from God’s point of view

Upward Basketball, my viewpoint vs. Jayna’s

We do not need to focus on what we can’t do, but on what we can do

Insert page here

As we wrap up another year we may have lots of things on our minds

Things to worry about

But we must not worry

Because I can really do all things through Christ

This it the time of year for resolutions.

And usually resolutions focus on negative things

And they focus our attention on ourselves

I ask you, please don’t make a resolution


Because they are never kept.

A recent study states that January 24th is the most depressing day of the year.

Why that day?

The Credit card bills from Christmas are coming in

The weather is bad

And most people have broken all their resolutions by then.

That’s the problem with resolutions.

They are based on our abilities.

We sometimes lose proper perspective and try and focus on the I part of “I can do all things”

But we need to focus on Christ

Because He is the source of strength

I hope that the beginning of this new year can be a new beginning for you and your relationship with Jesus Christ

That you can rely on Him in any and every situation you face

And if you do not know Him as Savior that this can be a wonderful opportunity for you to change your life and live for Him

A true new beginning for He can make you a new creature

If you would be willing to give you life over to Him

And can call Him Savior

Make this a truly Happy New Year