“He gives me strength.”
What does he mean when he says he gives me strength?
- Is it like a person by my side throwing me the different weapons I need to fight each individual battle?
- Is it like the guy running next to the running back so that he is protected?
- Is it like at the gym where he puts your through workout to get you strong?
Or is it “at many times and in various ways” he strengthens us?
That he would take time and intentionality to strengthen us is indicative of our value to him. He is going to strengthen those who need strength because they are facing a battle. He strengthens those he loves which are all that are His.
In the context Paul was talking about how he had learned contentment whether he had a full-stomach or was hungry, whether he had plenty of provision or had lack. Interesting that he didn’t get angry with Jesus in the hungry times or the times of insufficiency, but rather he learned contentment. Because Christ would strengthen him in each situation.
It’s also interesting to note that it doesn’t say God, the Father strengthens us, but Christ himself. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He is the brother at our side offering strength in our weakness, picking us up when we fall down, and even protecting us when things go really well.
I do believe that each situation is unique. Christ strengthens in different ways depending upon the situation. But it Christ’s love that gives us strength. You have to love someone a lot to make the commitment and sacrifices to strengthen them.