S23P5 – The abundant life: strength

Phi. 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

You received the news you never wanted to receive. You drop your head or raise it to the ceiling and tell God that you are not sure how you will make it through. Perhaps you have lost a loved one. Perhaps you have reached financial ruin. Whatever the news, it shakes you to your core and stops your world. If someone had asked you yesterday how you would deal with something like this happening today, you would not have had an answer. But today has come, and you must find a way to get through this time. It may very well be true that you do not have inside of you what it takes to endure the hardship. However, that is of no consequence if you have strength in God.

When Paul speaks about being able to do all things through the strength that God provides, he does not speak merely of accomplishing great things. Yes, what he says relates to the tasks that God asks us to complete, but this concept applies to much more. Paul is speaking of work, heartache, misfortune, pain, discomfort, responsibility, and the list goes on and on. When Paul says that he can do all things, he means that he can live successfully through all of life’s circumstances whether good or bad. The strength that God gives him is sufficient to live life well and live it abundantly regardless of what comes down the pike. The strength we receive from God gives us not only power but the requisite insight to see all things in light of eternity with him.

Sometimes we need God’s strength to do something. Other times we need his strength to stand still. You see, God’s strength is not merely about power and action, but it is about the ability to act according to his will. Think of the strength that it took for Jesus Christ to stand quietly and not defend himself when it was the Father’s will for him not to do so. It was the same strength it took for him not to take himself down from that cross. God’s strength can manifest itself in us through great works or through mere silent endurance. Father, thank You for the strength that You make available to those who believe in You, and give us the wisdom to rely on that strength instead of relying on our own.