The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians around A.D. 61. By that time he had suffered greatly for being an Apostle of Jesus Christ. When he wrote that verse about being able to do “everything through him who gives me strength” he had real experience and suffering to back that up!
In order to learn more about that suffering, we need to read Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. He wrote this letter between A.D. 55-57 several years before he wrote Philippians. Listen to the kinds of suffering and danger Paul lived through as he explains his missionary journeys to the Corinthian church.
“…I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
“In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.”
That is phenomenal that Paul lived through all of that! It is important to note that 40 lashes usually killed a man! Paul was lashed 39 times 5 different times with a brutal Roman whip with sharp pieces of bone embedded in it–that is 195 lashes all over his back! Can you imagine the scars?! Most anybody in the world would have given up after only 1 incident of 39 lashes, but Paul did not give up. He didn’t even give up after being stoned and shipwrecked! Why? One reason and one reason only–he could do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthened him! He was on a mission from God and nothing was going to stop him!
Paul paid the ultimate sacrifice for his faith around A.D. 65 when Emperor Nero ordered that his head be removed with a sword. All that did was set Paul free to go home to Jesus, and they never did stop his ministry! All believers are living proof of that as we read his letters in the Bible all over the world every day!
The Lord did a mighty work through our brother Paul. That same strength is inside every believer of Jesus! Don’t give up! Whatever you have going on in your life right now, keep going and don’t ever give up! If Paul could do all that through Christ, then you can be victorious over anything the world throws your way too!
You can do all things through Him who gives you strength! May God strengthen and encourage all of our hearts! In the Name of Jesus, Amen!
Grace and peace to you all!