Our Words Matter | Philippians Week 11 | Dr. Chip Bennett
Are y’all excited to be here? I am. Good. I’m glad. I am, too. I’m excited. I didn’t even have any Mountain Dew, and I’m still excited. Have you ever had a time in your life — I think all of us have had this — where you knew you had to have a tough conversation, and you knew that the conversation could go one way or the other? But what you didn’t want to do is be misunderstood. Right? Anybody ever felt misunderstood, before, when you tried to communicate? Amen? You’re probably like, “Yeah. On the way here.”
But that being said, we’re in the book of Philippians, and we’re coming to the end. We’ll end this series next weekend, but we’re finishing this up. And by the way, have you enjoyed going through the book of Philippians? Amen? Good. Good. Good. I’ve got a new series coming up after this. It will be called “Baggage Claim.” I think you’re going to enjoy it. It’s going to be fun. Then I’m thinking about going, after that, into another epistle, and going through it. But we’ll see.
That being said, as we come to the end of Philippians, Paul is having to pick up a subject that he started off, at the very beginning of the letter, talking about, and it was one of the main reasons that he’s written the letter. The Philippian church had given him a gift. A financial gift. It’s hard for us to maybe understand that world, and that’s okay, but in the first century, the way that they did their prison systems was very unlike ours. When you were in prison, if nobody brought you food, you didn’t eat. But Paul is having to thank the Philippian church. He’s thanking them for the gift that they’ve given. In the first century, when people gave — and I don’t have time to develop this, but you could go study it because some of y’all really love to study stuff. There’s what’s called a patron-client relationship. A lot of the New Testament sort of assumes that you know this.
So, when Paul is receiving a gift, sometimes there would be this expectation that then he would have to do something in return. So, it creates these really difficult situations, which is why, at the beginning of Philippians, he tells them that they’re being a partaker in the Gospel with their gift. He’s like, “Yeah. You really didn’t give to Paul. You really gave to the Gospel.”
I’m sure when people heard that, at the beginning, some of them, probably, were a little irritated. They’re like, “We didn’t give for the Gospel. We gave for you. We want you to thank us that we have given.”
Well, now, at the end, Paul’s going to pick that subject back up. He’s going to pick up the subject here of what do you do, and how do you have this? You know, as well as I do — and just if anybody’s thinking, this is not the money sermon. Okay? I just want to tell you what’s going on because I’ve got some really great things I think we’re going to pull from this that we see as we go through the text. I wanted to really deal with this. But you know as well as I do that when you talk about these things, whether it’s the first century or not, you can be misunderstood. Because sometimes when you talk about thanking people for their generosity, that can be a good thing, and it can also be taken a little wrong. Maybe some people got thanked who shouldn’t have been thanked, and maybe some people didn’t get thanked. There can be issues there. There can also be issues when you’re not being dependent on people for generosity, which Paul’s going to say, “I’m not really dependent on anything because God provides.”
That can create its own sense of difficulties, as well. So, when you talk about thanking people for their generosity, sometimes that can create an unhealthy imbalance in the church because what happens is, if you only thank people who give this amount, and you don’t thank these people, then they feel like you don’t really care. Or maybe you thank somebody too much. And maybe some people, the more you thank them, the more they feel predisposed to give. And you can create a really unhealthy imbalance with that because, in the New Testament — and you know this, probably, as well as I do — generosity is not derived from equal giving, but from equal sacrifice. We see that with the woman at the temple who gives just a little bit of her money. Jesus says she gave more than everybody. Well, she didn’t give more than everybody in terms of the amount, but she gave out of her need.
So, when you thank people, that can be difficult. And then when you say that you’re not dependent upon people — in other words, “God’s going to provide,” — people may not be as generous. So, Paul’s got to walk through this whole minefield of all of this stuff. What’s really cool is the way he writes. Like, pay attention here. These are probably not some of the passages that you read as devotional material most of the time. This may be something that you might have read a while back, but you probably don’t spend a lot of time in these passages. But they are really, really, really neat. So, let’s get in there, let’s read through and see how Paul writes. Then we’ll do some good take-aways. I think it’ll be a really good weekend for everybody.
He says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.”
Anybody want to take a little wager? I’m not being for real about taking a wager. I wouldn’t really do that. I’m being a little facetious. But do you want to take a wager that there’s probably nobody in America that has that as the tattoo? Right? Like, I know that’s the Bible, but that’s not the one that I would get. But there’s a lot in here. You probably read it and go, “Yeah. There is a lot in here.”
Well, let’s unpack this. This is why we come, and this is why we teach the Bible, so that we can learn to read it, so that when we go home, we can read it better and it can impact. So, here’s what he says.
Now, that should not be something that you go, “Oh, I wasn’t expecting Paul to say ‘rejoice.’” At this point, you should be going, “Every other word, it seems, in the book of Philippians is this word ‘rejoice.’”
Well, he’s got to talk about this gift that they’ve given to Him. So, he says, “I rejoice.” And, of course, he did rejoice at the fact that he got a financial gift. I mean, he would’ve been thankful because he probably needed it in so many ways.
But he says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly…”
If we’ve learned anything in this time during Philippians, it’s that our joy does not come from outward things, from circumstances. It comes from the Lord. And Paul, rather than saying, “Man, I rejoiced when I opened up and saw what you had given me,” says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly.”
Paul’s never going to allow his joy to be determined by circumstances. His joy comes from the Lord. And I’m sure when somebody read this, they were like, “Whoa. What do you mean? Aren’t you going to thank us? Aren’t you going to…”
He says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length…”
So, it’s been a while. It’s been a while since the Philippian church has helped Paul out.
He says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me.”
Now, you know as well as I do that he’s just stating the truth. He says, “Hey, it’s been a while since you guys gave.”
He’s not saying it negative, he’s not saying it positive, but he realizes that it could be misunderstood. This is such good stuff. We’re going to get to this a little bit later, here, in the practical applicational parts of this, but look at how he wants to make sure that what he says is not misunderstood. It doesn’t mean he won’t be, but he’s so concerned. Don’t you think we could maybe, as a society, be a little bit more concerned about what we say, and be a little bit more concerned about not being misunderstood? Don’t we just flippantly, sometimes, say words? Maybe you all don’t. I can sometimes do that. Y’all are probably more spiritual than I am.
He says, “…at length you have revived your concern for me.”
So, what does he do? He immediately realizes, “Hold on. I need to clarify this statement.”
He says, “You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.”
In other words, “I don’t want you to think what I’m saying is, ‘Where have you been? Where have you been? Where have the gifts been? Come on. Where have you been?’”
He’s like, “No. It’s been a while, and that’s just the truth.”
He really should’ve been able, probably, to have just left it there, but he doesn’t want to be misunderstood. I think one of the signs of Christian maturity is that you want to communicate in a way that leaves the least amount of opportunity to be misunderstood.
So, he says, “You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.”
Just to paraphrase this, I did a little Chip IV here, just to make it a little more easy to understand what he’s saying. He says, “I greatly rejoiced in the Lord — because true joy comes from Him anyway — because you remembered me with a generous gift. I’m not saying you weren’t always thinking of me, but the time had not been right. So, thanks.”
That’s what he’s saying. That’s what he’s saying to them. But he also understands that in the same way they could misunderstand that he’s not saying, “Hey, it’s been so long. Where have you been?” they could maybe, also, think that he’s thanking them for what they’ve given. And because now they’ve given, he’s in need, and they’ve helped him, maybe there’s a string attached.
Which is why he immediately comes back with, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
Let’s look at this. This is great stuff. He says, “I’m not speaking of being in need.” He is in need. There’s no question. He’s in need, but he’s like, “I don’t want you to misunderstand me, like I’m trying to get something from you because I’m not. It’s not that I’m speaking of being in need. I’m not talking about my need.”
They know he has a need. They wouldn’t have given to him if he didn’t have a need.
He says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned…”
That is such a keyword here, folks. He’s learned. This wasn’t something that when he became a Christian, boom, the download was complete. This is something that over Paul’s life — and we’re getting towards the latter part of Paul’s life, at this point. He says, “I’ve learned something.”
Where did he learn it? He learned it from imprisonments, beatings, and all kinds of problems and difficulties. Sometimes, maybe, great times. Along the way, he learned something. He said, “I’m not really speaking of being in need. I mean, I have a need, but I’m not really asking you for anything, although I’m glad you gave it. I’m thankful that you gave it, and I’m so glad that you revived your concern for me, but I’m not really speaking of being in need because I’ve learned something. I have learned that in whatever situation I find myself…”
That is a circumstance.
“Whatever situation life brings my way, I’ve learned something. I’ve learned to be content.”
That’s powerful because, if we were honest, most of us aren’t content. Most of us are restless. Paul says, “Hey, I know I’m in prison. I’m so glad you gave. It’s been a while, but I’m not saying that because I’m saying that you should’ve given something before. And I’m not really speaking about being in need because, to be honest with you, whatever comes my way, I’ve just learned. I’ve learned that God is faithful. I’ve learned that when I build my house on Him, He’s good to me. I’ve learned that no matter what imprisonment I get in, no matter what people do to me, He shows up. He’s there. I’ve learned to be content.”
Then he does this really cool parallel thing.
He says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.”
He ties this word “know” — he says, “This is something I learned. I learned this. I’ve learned it in such a way that now I know this. I don’t aspire to it. I don’t hope. I don’t pray. I know this. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.”
In other words, what Paul says is, “I have learned, in my life, through the difficulties, how to meander the highs and the lows.”
That’s powerful. Because, probably, if we were being honest — and nobody has to come up front and say, “Yeah, that’s me,” or whatever. If we’re being honest, we’d probably go, “You know, I’m probably not there right now. The highs? I like those. The lows? Yeah, I really don’t care for those.”
Nobody cares for them, but he says, “I’ve learned something. I’ve learned how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.”
He says, “In any and every circumstance,”
This is a guy writing from prison, by the way, who’s rejoicing, who may be at the end of his life, and couple potentially be looking at martyrdom. He says, “I’ve learned how to be content. I know how to be brought low. I know how to abound.”
He says, “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret…”
There’s a secret. Don’t you want to know the secret?
He says, “…I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
“No matter what life throws at me, the highs and the lows, I’ve learned something. There’s something that I know, and I’ve experienced it now. It’s not something that I talk about. It’s not like a passage that I quote. This is something that is deep within me.”
He says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Now, this passage is usually stuff that people wear on their wristband. They’ll be working out, going, “I’m at 19 snatches, right now. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I’m going for 20.”
Yeah. That’s really not what this is talking about. Somebody who’s going, “I know that Joey Chestnut can eat another hotdog. He can do anything through Christ who strengthens him.”
Yeah, not really, because context matters here. And this is so important. What he’s saying is, “Hey, all these things, the highs and lows of life, just getting through life…” — and he’s more talking about the difficulties. “I know how to take the high stuff now, but I’ve learned how to deal with the difficult part. I’ve learned this. It’s part of who I am. I’ve gone through the difficulties.”
That’s why Scripture always tells us that when we fall into trials, count it joy. It tells us, “It’s okay when you go through problems. God didn’t leave you. He didn’t forsake you.”
It’s really in the difficulties that we learn to trust God. I remember when I was in college, I don’t remember who preached the sermon, but I remember the line. I remember it was like, “Man, that is so true.”
He said, “I want you to know I have been…”
And he was a good preacher. I’m not that good. He was a preacher. I’m just a dude that just gets up here and sort of talks. He was a preacher. Like, from the gut. Some of y’all grew up in that tradition. Every other word: “Ha.” You know? And if you sat on the front row, you would get spittle, every once in a while. And some people would have umbrellas to catch it, or whatever.
He said, “I have been to the bottom, but the bottom is solid.”
I was like, “Man, wow. That’s true.”
At the bottom of it all, that’s where you really find God because He’s enough. And Paul says, “Here’s the secret I’ve learned: I can do all things…”
Not “through.” Dia is the Greek word for “through.” It’s “in.”
“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”
In a vital union of relationship. “Me and God are enough,” is what Paul would say. “I appreciate that you gave the money, I appreciate you did this. Yeah, it’ll help me out, and all this stuff. But man, I’ve learned something. No matter what’s going on in my life, God is enough. He’s enough. He can get me through. He can strengthen me.”
And maybe you’re there. Maybe you need strength, right now. Well, can I tell you something? Your strength is not coming from a sermon. It’s not coming from a song. It’s not coming from a church. Your strength comes from the Lord. The Lord is our strength. He’s the one who does what He does. So, as I thought about this passage — and I did. I spent a lot of time in these few verses, this week. I thought, “Man, there’s something here that Paul does. It’s really all through this whole passage.”
This is my first point: Our words matter. Like, they matter. Do you want to know what a mature Christian is like? They’re people that know that words matter. It matters. In fact, what Paul knows is the burden of communication is on the speaker, not the listener. People — I see it online. They make fun of me. They say, “Pastor Chip, he always says, ‘Don’t hear what I’m not saying.’”
The reason I say that is because I don’t want to be misunderstood, because people will read into what you’re saying. We live in a world, today, if you go, “Hey, everybody,” they’re like, “Oh, that’s a right hand. He must be giving a political gesture.” Or, you know, “Hey, everybody.”
“We knew he was on that side.”
It’s like, “No, I’m just saying hi.”
So, don’t hear what I’m not saying. You know? The burden of communication is on the speaker, not the listener. So, look here. He’s trying to avoid two potential misunderstandings. One is that the Philippians should’ve given before now. He makes sure they can’t say that. That’s why he says, “You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.”
He wants to put that to rest. He didn’t have to say that. He could’ve just said, “Hey, it’s been a while since you gave, and I’m so glad you gave.”
That would’ve been fine, but that could’ve been misunderstood. So, he goes with this added sentence to make sure.
Secondly, Paul could’ve been misunderstood that he’s just in it for the money.
“The reason you’re thanking us is because you want…” — or whatever else. That’s why he says, “No. It’s not that I’m speaking of being in need. That’s not what I’m trying to do.”
So, what I want to do, for just a second, is think, as Christians, as people who want to be mature, as people who really want to be lights to the world, who want to shine like lights — let’s take a moment, here, and think about what we say, how we say it, and if we could be a little bit more careful. I’ve got a few things that I think will help us out. First of all, I think we need to learn the art — and it’s an art — of using gracious words. Like, to just be people that are gracious. Listen to what Solomon says.
He says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Could we use this in the world that we live in today? So, let me give you an example. I don’t mind being vulnerable and showing my weakness. So, this week, I had a bunch of people in. I did a ton of recording. I did live stuff one night. I just didn’t get a whole lot of sleep this week. I think it was Thursday. I go to Dunkin’ Donuts pretty much every day out of the year. So, of 365, I’m probably there 345. I mean, pretty much. So, I’ve got it down, now, to a science. I know how to do this thing because I’ve done it so much, and I know all the pitfalls that can come with going to Dunkin’ Donuts because I’ve experienced so many of them. There are these three things that I try to avoid in every way possible because I know they’re the things that get me upset. Because I’m a driven guy. I just want to get my coffee and go. Like, I’ve got stuff to do. You know? So, I pull up, and when I pull up, I always say, “What I would like is a medium, hot, black coffee.”
You’ve got to specify that because if you don’t say hot, they’ll give you cold. If you don’t tell them what it is, you’ll get a different sized cup. Hot, black coffee. And I always say, “And don’t fill it all the way to the top.”
Do you know why? Because sometimes they don’t put the lids on right, it starts flowing over the stuff, and they hand it to you, through the window, with coffee dripping off. And I’m sort of a neat guy. Like, if you get in my car — my kids are always like, “Daddy, your car is clean.”
I’m like, “I know. Your mommy just destroys a car.”
Just kidding. So, I always say, “Don’t fill it all the way to the top,” because I don’t want it spilling out. So, this Thursday, I go up, that order, pull up, the lady goes, “Here,” and when she hands it to me, the coffee is just coming all off the cup. I’m like, “Could I maybe get another cup?”
“Well, it’s got coffee everywhere.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
See, she can’t see it. Do you see the deal here? I’m like, “Why don’t you turn it around?”
“Oh, yeah. It’s leaking.”
I’m trying to be nice. I’m like, “I’m a pastor. She may be at the church one day. I cannot be a jerk. I’ve got to use gracious words. I’m preaching on that, this weekend. God, You’re getting me. You’re just really getting me.”
So, that’s my first one that I don’t like. The second one is the one I also don’t like. It’s when, instead of just getting a new cup, and getting me a new cup of coffee, they insert it into another cup. Okay? And it’s typically a large cup that the medium goes into, and they hand it to you. See, for just a second, it works. But once it starts coming over the top again, it goes down the other one. So, it doesn’t really work. I’m like, “Uh, could I just get…”
And she’s got, like, eight eyes looking at me, like, “What’s wrong with you?”
And I’m trying to be so gracious. I’m going, “I hope she never comes to Grace. Well, no, I hope she does come to Grace because she probably needs Jesus, but I don’t want to…”
So, I’m going through all of this stuff. She says, “Fine.”
Well, then it’s the third one that I don’t like a lot. Okay? I have a German car, and Germans don’t eat or drink in their cars. Okay? They don’t. They don’t understand why we do, but they know that they sell cars in America, so they put little, teeny cup holders in their cars, but they can’t hold big stuff. They only hold small stuff. So, here comes the big, tall cup because what they’ve done now is they’ve figured, “Well, this thing keeps spilling over.”
So, the 80% that it was now is about 30% of what it was. Then they take the 30% and pour it into this thing that’s this big, and they know it’s not going to spill out here. I’m like, “This is not going to fit in my car.”
I’m like, “Thank you so much.”
I put it in the car. I drive away. I say that to say, you know, sometimes you just have to stop and realize that — you know, I could’ve caused a scene, but it matters. Gracious words matter. When we all got done, I looked at her and I said, “Look, I’m really not trying to be a jerk.”
She’s like, “No.”
And it was good. We had this cordial relationship. I’m like, “Yes. If she ever walks into Grace and sees me, she’ll be okay. I will not have run somebody away from Jesus for the rest of their life.”
Okay? So, using gracious words matters. How about striving for peace, not winning? Like, I don’t know about you, but I like to win. There’s not any sport I’ve ever played that I’m not willing to take somebody’s kneecap out to win. You know? I mean, I like to win. But the Bible says to strive for peace with everyone. Like, can you imagine? And you see this in Paul. He’s not trying to win. He’s trying to create peace.
How about listen, listen, listen before we speak? You know, I had a lady, one time — it was brilliant. She was so godly. She said to me, “Chip, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
I was like, “Yeah. That’s true.”
We do. God gave us two ears to listen. We see this in James. He says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”
Now, when we redo this and it’s quick to speak, we’re quick to anger, and usually slow to hear. Like, these are just some things. When I look at Paul and how he went to lengths to make sure he wasn’t misunderstood, I’m like, “This is Paul at the end of his life. This is a mature Christian man.”
That’s what I want to aspire to be like. I want to be careful with words. And don’t quarrel. Be kind. I love this.
2 Timothy 2:24: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,”
Like, these are just — man, words matter. And we see that in our world today.
The second thing that I want to point out here is that we need to learn to be content. Can we just take a moment, here, and just admit that we’re all pretty restless? You know? But we need to learn to be content. Paul says, “Not that I’m speaking of being in need. I’ve learned, in whatever situation I’m in, to be content. Whatever situation, wherever I’m at, whatever’s going on, I want to be content.”
So, I want to help here. This is not the exhaustive list, but just things to chew on. There are maybe some steps we can take in a positive direction towards being content. How about this? First one: How about appreciate what you do have? Do you know that there are things that you have in your life, that you wanted so bad at one time, and now you have them? Can you remember back? See, it’s hard because, once we get it, we’re like, “Next.”
Right? We’ve got to have the next thing. I mean, people have a perfectly good iPhone, and stand in line to get the next one, and pay all kinds of money to not get much different. But they need it, and it makes them happy when they get it. And then, they need the next one. You know? Like, learn to appreciate what you have. Learn to be thankful. Do you realize how fortunate all of us are? And I know. Listen. I know everybody’s got a different need, different stuff, and some of y’all have stressors going on and all of that stuff. I totally understand it. I’m not trying to downplay that. But do you know, in comparison to many places in the world, we are incredibly blessed people? Amen?
Sometimes we’re just not happy with what we’ve got. This idea of learning to be content is to learn to really love and appreciative what you do have. Sometimes I’ve got to stop myself. I’m not unlike you. Everybody else wants more. If you ask people, “What do you want?”
“What do you need?”
You know? The people who play professional sports and make a gob of money, what do they want? More. You know? Everybody wants more but learn to appreciate what we have. Secondly, don’t compare. This is just — man, a terrible thing is when we compare. Like, I know other people have things that maybe you want, but maybe you don’t know what they had to go through to get them, or maybe you don’t know what they’re having to do to keep them, right now. You might not want that thing if you knew what they were going through. So, don’t compare. Be grateful for what God has given you, and don’t try to be somebody else. It’s so easy to want to be in somebody else’s lane.
Third, realize this truth here. Things don’t constitute life. Jesus says this in the Gospel of Luke 12:15.
He says, “‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness [wanting something that you don’t have, wanting somebody else’s stuff], for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”
It doesn’t. Like, we want to be content. We want to learn to go, “Do you know what? Whatever comes my way.”
That old song, I sing it regularly. “Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’”
Sometimes I tell myself that. You know? I’m like, “We need this. Chip, be thankful. Be thankful.”
I mean, goodness gracious. I remember back when we met in the God-forsaken dental office behind a chiropractor place that had eight-foot ceilings. Like, that was awesome. When we were able to blow the ceilings out and get a little bit more room, it was like that was the greatest thing in the world. You know? You move through life. Just be content with what you’ve got. Be thankful for what you’ve got. Be thankful. Be content.
Last thing. At some point, what we say about who Jesus is needs to actually be matched by our actions. It’s one thing to tell everybody, “Oh, God will take care of you,” but are you living that way?
“Oh, don’t you worry.”
See, he says, “I can do — I can do all things.”
He doesn’t say, “I can hope.” He says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
The reality is this: If He can save from sins, then He can get us through whatever life may throw our way. He can do that. You know, I’ve often said this, and I’m going to close with this because we’re going to sing this great song about how faithful God has been to every person, and He can do the same thing for all of us. But this is so important. Hear this. I really believe this is going to minister to somebody. When God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, the first place He took them was to the wilderness.
You know what the wilderness was, right? It was a place of death. There’s no food, there’s no water, there’s nothing. And you know what the children of Israel did because it is the spiritual gift of God’s people. They grumbled. Remember?
“Did you bring us out here to die?”
No. See, God knew this. This is what He knows about you and I. We’re never going to trust His ways until we believe that He will take care of us. Because His ways don’t seem like the way we would do it. They seem foreign to the way that we would do it. They seem like they clash with the way that we think the world should work. So, what’s the first thing He does after He delivers them from Egypt? He takes them to the wilderness. And what does He do? He provides manna every day. Jesus says to pray that way. Pray for our daily bread, to trust God for provision. This idea that God will take care of us. At some point, we have to move beyond just being Christians, singing songs, and whatever. There’s a place where we have to get in our life where we really believe, “Hey, what I say about God is actually who He is. He is a provider. He is a healer. He can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think.”
And I just want to challenge you. Not in a way that makes you feel bad or guilty. I’m not trying to give anybody any bad feelings. I just want to challenge you a little bit to say, “You know, maybe I really do have to believe, at some point, that God can really do…”
When you take that step, and when God shows up and does what God does, it’s awesome. I can just tell you, as your pastor, in 52 years, there have been so many things that God has done along the way, to be faithful, that are far beyond anything I could’ve ever done, or anything I could’ve ever thought. He’s just a good and faithful God. I want us to sing this, and I want us to believe this because you can, we can, as believers — no matter what comes our way, we can do all those things in Him who strengthens us. Would you bow your heads and hearts?