Is It Can’t or Won’t?

Philippians 4:13

DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU are the recipient of limitless ability . . . incredible strength? Just read a few familiar lines out of the Book, slowlyfor a change:

  • “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
  • “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  • “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

And one more:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.


Wait a minute now. Did you read every word—or did you skip a line or two? If so, please go back and slowly graze over those four statements written to you, a Christian. It’s important.

When we face the tough trials in our lives, our response comes down to two common words in our vocabulary. Little words—but oh, so different!—”can’t” and “won’t.”

We prefer to use “can’t.”

Yet any Christian who really takes those four passages seriously will have to confess the word really should be “won’t.” Why? Because we have been given the power, the ability to overcome. The moment you begin believing the truth about God’s supernatural enablement that allows you to overcome your struggle rather than succumb to it, will be the moment you step into a whole new experience of joyful living and freedom. The question is not “why can’t you?” The question is “why won’t you?”

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Christian Living, Failure, Holy Spirit, Pornography, Sin and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.