All Things In Christ

10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:10-19)   

Scripture Study

4:13 I can do all things: I.e., Paul can endure the extremes of earthly life, from peace and prosperity to affliction and destitution. The hidden source of his strength is not in himself but in the Lord Jesus, who enables him to take everything in stride and live detached from the need for physical comforts (Mt 19:26; Jn 15:5).
4:18 the gifts you sent: The tangible assistance delivered to Paul by Epaphroditus. His appreciation goes out to the Philippians for this sacrifice of their resources (Heb 13:16). Paul’s situation in Rome, where he lived as a prisoner in his own rented quarters, would have made their monetary assistance all the more welcome (Acts 28:16, 30). According to Phil 4:15–16, the Philippians were consistently generous in supporting his ministry in this way.
4:19 God will supply: Generosity is richly rewarded by the Lord (Lk 6:38; 2 Cor 9:6–8).[1]

 

Reflection

“In him who strengthens me.”

The preposition “in” often refers to the place “where”, in which case the text would mean that the person who lives in Christ, who is identified with him, can do all things. However, in biblical Greek it frequently has a causal meaning, in which case the Apostle would be saying that he can do all things because God lends him his strength.

The difficulties which can arise in apostolic work or in one’s search for personal holiness are not an insuperable obstacle, for we can always count on God’s support. So, we need to let ourselves be helped; we need to go to the Lord whenever we are tempted or feel discouraged (“Thou art the God in whom I take refuge”: Ps 43:2), humbly recognizing that we need his help, for we can do nothing on our own. “The proud person relies on his strength and he falls; but the humble person, who puts all his trust in God, holds his ground and does not succumb, no matter how severely he is tempted” (The Love of God, 9).[2]

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

[1] The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 362.
[2] Saint Paul’s Captivity Letters, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2005), 119.