All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens You
“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress..” Philippians 4:12
It is clear that the apostle Paul was called to a unique ministry to declare the gospel particularly to the Gentile world. And this he did, establishing churches throughout Greece, Asia, Achaia, Macedonia, Thrace, Galatia, Cappadocia, Syria, including Judea and all Israel. He was frequently challenged and suffered threats, shipwreck, persecutions, imprisonment, and attempted murder more than once. Even in his darkest distresses he still found the strength to write to the church, rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:4-5
When he wrote these words he was chained to a wall in the lowest part of a dank, dark, foul Roman prison with no means of knowing when or if he would ever be released. It is remarkable that he could maintain such a positive, hopeful attitude in such a circumstance.
It reminds us of how Jesus, though scourged, the skin striped of his back, nailed to a cross with thorns driven into his scull, so marred he was not recognizable, He yet, in that moment cried out to God, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Jesus’ life and Paul’s life along with all the disciples who were martyred for the faith, even those to this day who are being persecuted and wantonly murdered at the hands of evil men possessed of the devil, challenges us to consider what we would be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.
But Jesus assures us that we can do more than we think we can, when and if we ever face the question, because He will be with us even to the ends of the earth. His strength will be made perfect in our weakness and we will be strong against the evil works of darkness. No weapon that is formed against us will prosper.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” Isaiah 54:17
Whether in plenty or in want we have an assurance from God that He is and always will be with us. And because He is with us we have nothing to fear and all reason to be hopeful with expectant and joyful confidence. Our God is God and there is no other. We can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us.