I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Phil. 4:13. Paul was not making a vainglorious boast when he wrote these words.
We can more fully appreciate the spiritual significance of his statement when we remember that it was written by a helpless prisoner in the Mamertine dungeon in Rome.
Chained to the prison wall, with only a small opening covered by an iron grill through which a few rays of daylight illuminated the darkness, there was little that Paul could do in a physical way but await the day of his trial and execution.
It is evident, therefore, that the “all things” he referred to were the all
things that God requires of a Christian.
If this meant escaping miraculously from his cell, he could do it by the
same power that delivered Peter from prison; if it meant enduring suffering and privation with patience, then he could also do this by the power of Christ.
In the verses that precede this statement, Paul declared: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil. 4:11, 12).
Paul had learned that every circumstance in life, whether seemingly fortunate or unfortunate, could be the means of instructing him in the development of a Christlike character.
Learning this lesson did not come suddenly or easily. But as he daily renewed his total surrender to Christ, Christ's mighty strengthening power enabled him to meet any circumstance of life.
God's power is available to all who are willing to receive it. The trouble is that few of us are willing to meet the conditions for receiving it.
During His earthly ministry Christ demonstrated that it is possible for one to receive divine power without measure (John 3:34) for carrying out the will of God.
The same power in the same
measure is available to you and me today.
To believe in the power of God, to take Him at His word—this is the faith that Jesus had, this was the faith that Paul had, and this is the faith that you and I must have to meet successfully every circumstance in life, whether it is favorable or unfavorable.
Christ “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20).
When we fail to experience this strengthening power, the fault lies not with God but with us. It is not God's unwillingness to impart it, but our unwillingness to receive it.
But even here God can help. He can make us willing, if we will let Him.