One such snippet from the Bible that most Christians likely know of is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We set it as our phone’s wallpaper, we write it in our planners, and place it just about anywhere in sight to give us an instant boost to our day.
We live in a world in which struggle is natural and we draw strength from the Lord, more so amid obstacles, we think our will and ability alone cannot conquer.
But have we ever looked into the context surrounding this line that’s so often quoted in the Christian world? While it’s only normal for us to internalize it especially during extra tough times, this epistle actually came about during its writer, St. Paul’s time in jail, a time of isolation and desperation most of us couldn’t fathom but also a revelation of his humility.
St. Paul’s experience tells us how there’s more the verse wants to reveal to us and perhaps we could give a deeper meaning to God being the source of our strength. While it is for the best that we fervently seek God’s grace that we achieve feats that we’ve always wanted for our lives and that we can perform to the best of our abilities, say ace our exams or get that promotion that’s been due, we are just as strengthened by God when we exhibit contentment with whatever situation is before us and whatever we have at the moment.
We can acquire all the knowledge and skills this mortal world tends to value the most but the strength that God promises differs. He acknowledges our weaknesses, those we fear others will know of, those vulnerable sides of us, and unpleasant experiences that stunt us. Above these all, it’s His divine assistance that allows us to persevere.
Jesus Christ perfectly embodies a life of humility and yet of great accomplishment as a result of drawing strength from the Lord and we are called to do the same as John 14:12 says: “He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works…” such an empowering line reminding us how God resides in us, He works within us, and because of this, we can overcome any challenge.
That we allow God into our lives to use us as His instruments for his peace and good will and let Him manifest in our every word and deed is just as important as thinking we can do anything through and with Him. Philippians 2:13 reminds us: “For it is God which worketh in you [by way of the gift in you] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” If we do take this into account, we could all certainly be less susceptible to surrendering or losing the drive to accomplish anything.
[Reveal God’s words of strength for the day with our Phillipians 4:13 Bible case.]