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"I can do all things..."

Philippians 4:13 NLT

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

You often hear this verse as a way of saying, "Nothing is impossible to me because Jesus. I can totally run up that mountain and back in ten minutes! I can pick up a guitar for the first time and play Stairway to Heaven flawlessly! I can backflip across the Pacific Ocean with sandbags around my neck!" But that's not actually what the verse is saying.

If you read the chapter it comes from, you'll see that Paul was in prison, potentially facing death for teaching about Jesus. Paul isn't saying nothing is impossible. A better way to word the line would be "I can endure all things through Christ, who gives me strength". Here are the verses preceding the verse.

Philippians 4:10-12 NLT

How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

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