Archive for February, 2015

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” or other translations say “through Christ who gives me strength.”  This is one of the most quoted verses in all of Christianity and even in the secular world. Philippians 4:13 is usually used within the context of athletic competition, which is grossly distorted what from what Paul was actually saying. People want Jesus to play the role of a genie and then they ask him to grant their wish and expect it to happen because we can do anything through Jesus. Many times this verse is used before an event happens in hope that by putting faith in this verse, we will achieve success in whatever we are about to face. On the contrary, Paul is saying this as encouragement and a truth after He undergoes suffering of many kinds. Paul writes from jail in verse 12, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Then he goes on to 13 and writes, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul is in prison and has been shipwrecked, beat up, gone without food and in need. Through all of these hardships, Paul still believes that he will continue to overcome all adversity, and instead of letting himself be discouraged he attributes his life and health to the grace of Jesus. Because Jesus is your identity and He can satisfy you completely, you can get through any suffering that comes your way.

This even applies to the horror of sharing the gospel at the cost of your social standing, image, or even harsh persecution. As we know from Romans, Paul is unashamed of the gospel and will share it with everyone that is willing to listen because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, and through it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith. So when you face suffering, this verse is an encouragement to cling to Christ because Jesus will help you through whatever you are dealing with and completely satisfy you. We need to realize that Jesus is in control and no matter the situation, Jesus is your identity, and He will give you strength. When I am afraid to share the gospel, I am encouraged by this verse and I hope it will serve as an encouragement in your life as well.