Can you do anything you want in life? Some seemingly think so if Christ strengthens them. So, what did Paul have in mind when he said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philip 4:13)?
All faithful Christians are subject to temptations, adverse circumstances, and human sufferings. The Lord is promising strength to enable us to overcome every circumstance Christians must encounter. There are a number of passages which confirm that this is true, including the following:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10: 13). You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4). Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (Jn. 15:4,5,7).
Our strength is not in ourselves but in Christ. Our confidence is not in our own ability but in Christ. Relying on that strength which Christ provides gives us full assurance that we can win be the victor. As Paul declared, “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:55-57).
Christ Strengthens Us
These and other passages teach that Christ strengthens us (Col. 1:11 ff; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:17). How does the Lord strengthen us?
Through the Word of God. David said, “My soul melts for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto your word” (Psa. 119:28).
Through our brethren. The Lord told Peter, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren” (Lk. 22:32). Exhortation from and the good example of our brethren gives us strength to persevere.
Through prayer. Godly men prayed for God to give them strength (Neh. 6:9). God answers the prayers of his saints (1 Pet 3:12).
I take courage from such statements as Paul made in this text – “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” I witness other Christians who have survived the struggles of life and lived faithfully unto God and know that I can do the same.
I take courage from the promise of divine grace to help me in the time of need (1 Cor. 10: 13 f; Heb. 4:16). Knowing that God is with me, who can be against me?
Conclusion: Today, someone is staring death in the face and counting on God to deliver them. It could be a loved one, it could be a friend, or it could be you. Nevertheless, if you are on God’s side, God is on your side too (Ex 32:26). You can only be on God’s side by obeying the gospel of Christ and by abiding in the doctrine of Christ and his apostles (Mk 16:16 ff; 2 Jn 9; Acts 2:42). If you are, you have nothing to fear_Victory is yours. If you live, you will live unto Christ. If you die, you will die unto Christ (Rom 14:7,8). No matter what, you are a winner either way!