â€œHi, Emma. Iâ€™m calling to see how youâ€™re doing.â€
â€œIâ€™m doing okay. Thanks for checking.â€
Her voice was somber but strong.
â€œItâ€™s been tough. My car broke down â€“ again. But the kids and I prayed, and thankfully, I have a second interview with one of the companies Iâ€™ve applied with.â€
Almost a year ago, Emma, a single mother of three, lost her job. Although she receives help from family, friends and her church, the stress she lives with is real. Yet her faith in Godâ€™s ability to meet their needs is also very real.
Maybe youâ€™re also going through a financial trial or youâ€™re feeling pressure at work or home to do more than you think you can. Perhaps youâ€™re struggling with a Bible verse that tells you to forgive those who have hurt youâ€¦or maybe youâ€™ve recently been diagnosed with cancer â€“ stage 4.
Godâ€™s strength equips us to handle whatever life throws at us. Notice how Philippians 4:13 (AMPC) powerfully expresses Godâ€™s ability to help us overcome anything and everything we face â€“ today and every day:
â€œI have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christâ€™s sufficiency].â€
â€œReady for anything and equal to anything.â€
Wow! Yet this equipping only happens when we allow God to infuse (saturate) us with His inner strength.
Think about what it means to have the strength of Almighty God saturate our entire being and picture what might happen if we shared this verse with the Emmas in our lives â€“ even the ones who, like her, recognize the power of prayer. Imagine how it could strengthen their faith too.
With this in mind, I have a challenge for us:
1) Letâ€™s commit to memorizing Philippians 4:13 in our favorite translation. (You get extra points if you memorize the AMPC version.)
2) Watch how memorizing and meditating on Philippians 4:13 changes our perspective on (and maybe the outcome of) the trials weâ€™re facing.
3) Share with the Emmas in our lives how God worked in our situation.
How might sharing our Philippians 4:13 journey change our spouseâ€™s or childâ€™s feelings of inadequacy at work or school? Or strengthen our pastorâ€™s wife if sheâ€™s feeling unsettled in her role?
The trials we face are real. Meditating on Philippians 4:13 wonâ€™t remove them but spending time pondering this verse and allowing Godâ€™s presence to infuse our soul can change the way we handle the hard times.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.