31 Days · Fightin' words · Running

Strength For All Things

There it was written on some road in San Diego, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I read these words as my feet plodded over them.  Six more miles to go. 

Yes, through Christ I can cross the finish line.

I think Philippians 4:13 is the official verse of marathon runners, or in my case slow joggers. 

As I endured my one and only marathon, this verse written on t-shirts, signs, calves, and triceps encouraged me to keep moving.  These words kept my mind on Christ, the only one who could get me through 26.2 miles. 

i-can-do-all-things-through-christa-who-strengthens-meLife is a marathon, a race of endurance.

We are to run the race set before us, which will include obstacles and opposition.  The only way to complete our race is to rely on the one who imparts strength.

Often we apply this verse to encourage us as we set out to accomplish goals and become successful. 

While that is not a bad thing, I do think we should look deeper into what the meaning of the words.

In Greek the verse states,

“I am strong for all things in the one strengthening me.”

“I am strong for” means the strength to prevail and to combat resistance.

Sounds like power a soldier needs.  Strength required to prevail over trials and temptation and to fight the good fight of faith.

From where does this strength come?

From the one, Jesus.  Not our self-sufficiency. 

We can’t run a marathon on our own no matter how well we train.  Every runner hits a wall.

But Jesus, he empowers us and gives us the ability to prevail.

The verb, to fill with power, to strengthen, to make strong, is a passive verb.  The subject, you and I, do not strengthen.  We receive the action.  We receive the strength, the power.

Today, if you feel battle-weary, if you have hit the wall, if the enemy is whispering the lie that you can’t go one, then you fight back with the Word.

I can prevail in all things because God empowers me and strengthens me.  I will finish the race and will fight the good fight of faith.

As I ran my race I wasn’t alone.  Lining the course, strangers cheered on the racers with signs, encouraging words, and applause. 

Soldiers don’t fight alone.

Will you hold a sign today?  Who do you need to cheer on?  Who do you need to encourage today with the truth of Philippians 4:13.  May I encourage you to fight with your fellow soldiers and send them this verse today?