Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Circa 62 AD

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me"
Philippians 4:13

Or can I? Enough frivolity and time to get back to writing about the Bible and attempting some exegesis. The above verse is often claimed as a promise for individual Christians to claim and live out. Sometimes it's also used as an affirmation or motivational statement. The promise is that somehow God will bless the Christian in every aspect of his or her life, and that they will be spiritually empowered to succeed in any goal they wish to achieve. This is supposed to imply that Christians have unlimited potential in life.

In the context of this letter, the apostle Paul was writing from prison, and facing possible death (Philippians 1:20). Even so, because he trusted in God and obeyed Him, despite great hardships, Paul endured in serving God and others. This was the secret to his resilience, and why he was able to continue the work that he was called to do. In this context, it is correct to read this verse as an encouragement that it is possible to persevere when life becomes difficult, following Paul's example.

He of all people knew that being a Christian isn't easy. Just as it was in his time, any Christian today whose faith isn't tested in some way during their life, either for a season or continually, is definitely in the minority.

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