“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”
Paul was writing from a Roman prison, as he drew toward the end of a life on earth that had been anything but uneventful. From His meeting with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus until now he had sought to live, proclaim and teach Jesus as Lord.
In the course of his journey with Christ he had been flogged, stoned, shipwrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, imprisoned, abused and vilified, and he was now in prison again. He had known the loneliness of his missionary journeys, the rejection of his message and the imperfections of his companions, as well as his own.
And yet, at this stage, he could say with confidence that, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Phil 4:11) This had come about because of his faith and trust in Christ, and the knowledge of the God who was with him at all times. He was certain that God would never abandon him or lose control of his situations. This was the peace that passes understanding. He was in God’s hands and nothing could snatch him away from God’s great hold on him – whatever the world might do.
Now he could affirm that he had been, and was still, able to do everything that God wanted of him – whatever that might be and whatever challenges that might lead him into. God was with him and would give him whatever was needed in a particular situation – wisdom, words, faith, courage, perseverance.
As you and I look into the week that lies ahead these words come to us, both to inspire us and to build our faith. Whatever the trials and challenges are that we might face, we can meet them, live through them and come through them in the strength and with the help that God will give us. In anything and everything, from the traffic, to work, family and relationship issues, to failures and financial difficulties, to insecurities, rejection and abuse, God is with us. Whatever else He might do, He will strengthen and guide us as we look to and trust in Him.
Give God your situation and the week ahead. Pray particularly for the difficulties that you foresee and the people involved. Ask God for guidance, strength and an awareness of His presence. Keep praying and listening. Memorise and keep saying today’s scripture.
Heavenly Father, please help me to face this week in the confidence that, with Your help, I can face and do all the things that You want me to. Please help me to commit everything to You and to seek Your guidance and strength. Thank You for always being with me. Amen.