Paul’s Strength

Philippians 4_13Through Philippians 4:13 lets learn how to gain the same strength that Paul had.

Who is “I”? Answer: The apostle Paul who is writing this letter to the Philippian church. He is thanking them for a gift and writing to encourage them to find their joy in Jesus.

What does Paul mean by “can do”? Answer: Can do is the basic sense or ability to be able to do something. Paul can do it!! What can he do?

What are the “all things” Paul can do? Answer: For Paul it is the ability to be content and live at peace in all circumstances. We can find this answer in Philippians 4:11, 12 when Paul says, “for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Paul has learned how to live in peace in the extreme highs of life, as well as, the extreme lows. How, or, who gives Paul the ability to do this?

Who is “Him”? Answer: The Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The life of Paul is lived for Jesus, knowing Jesus, and making others know Jesus. That’s all he does. In his writing to the Philippian church he was encouraging them to do so as well. Rejoice in the Lord always Paul commands in Philippians 4:4.

How does Jesus strengthen Paul? Answer: Paul’s strength is Jesus. Philippians 3 is Paul’s explanation on how he lives. He considers all of his earthly human life rubbish. The word in Philippians 3:8 for rubbish can also be translated as dung. The definition of this word is, “excrement of animals, something rejected by society, rubbish, dregs of things, worthless and detestable.” Basically, Paul personally considered his life these things and the equivalent of poop. Another way of thinking is that Paul considered his life non-valuable. Why?

                Paul needed to think this way so he could fully realize what was his in Jesus – Philippians 3:12. Paul did not want to get in the way of fully embracing Jesus as his life. He wanted to know and experience the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He admits that he did not fully realize it at the time but he worked diligently to embrace all the Jesus did for him – Philippians 3:13, 14. Paul worked to set his focus on what Jesus guaranteed for him through His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus was God’s way of guaranteeing that Paul would be a deeply loved child of God forever, without exception!

                This truth gave Paul strength to endure all of life. Whether he had great prosperity or whether he was hungry, he was content because Paul knew Jesus is his security. This was Paul’s motivation for living and dying. Paul was encouraging the Philippians to live life in the same way and for their joy!

                How can we apply this truth to our lives? By adopting the same attitudes as Paul. First, forget your own life. It means nothing! It is poop! It is non-valuable and nothing to hold on to. God destroyed it on the cross and replaced it with the life of Jesus. Second, make all that Jesus is, your life. He is God’s affectionately adored Son so you are God’s affectionately adored child if you have made Him your life. This is a simple truth but difficult to apply. You need to work this truth out in your own minds and the peace of God will be with you in all circumstances! Guaranteed!

                In Jesus you are already in the presence of your loving Father without any effort from yourself. God has replaced all of your life with the life of Jesus. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then God thinks of you with the same deep love and affection as He thinks of Jesus. There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is alive and He is your life. Living in this mindset will give you the strength to endure all things!

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