I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
I. WEAKNESS AND STRENGTH. The believer is weak in himself. Looking to the "all things" to be done he laments this with shame and tears. But he is not alone. Allied to Christ he is strong to overcome evil and to do good. He has courage and hope. Nothing in the way of duty is impossible (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
II. DEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM. Dependence is the law of our being. Of the natural life it is said, "In God we live and move and have our being;" how much more is this true of the spiritual life, and yet we are free. Of our own choice we trust in Christ; of our own will, every moment we abide in Him. "I can" implies the personal life, reason, conscience, will, and endeavour.
III. HUMILITY AND ASPIRATION. Paul was remarkable for humility; it grew with him. But he was not discouraged. Fired with the noblest ambition, his inspiration was from above. So with all Christians. In spite of conscious weakness, opposition, and failure, "through Christ they take heart to persevere. "My soul cleaveth to the dust: quicken thou me according to Thy Word."
IV. SUFFERING AND CONTENTMENT. Paul's life was marked by vicissitudes and trouble; he was now in prison. But what then? His soul was free; there was peace within, Christ was with him. As a scholar under the great Master he had ]earned many things, and among others the Divine secret of content (ver. 11). So with Christians. Their satisfaction is not from without but from within; not from the lower and perishable things of the world, but from the immortal affection of their Saviour and God.LEARN —
1. The greatness of Christ as suggested by the place given Him by such a man as Paul. Consider his zeal, labours, achievements, and yet he ascribes the praise of all to Christ. But Paul was only one of many.
2. The grandeur of the Christian life. There is no limit to its possibilities. What has been done is only an earnest of what will be done. Take courage. "Through Christ," His blood, Word, Spirit, resurrection, etc., all things are possible. What inspiration here for prayer and holy endeavour (Ephesians 3:20-21).
3. The certain triumph of Christianity. Strengthened by Him, His people shall never cease to pray and strive, till all the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
Parallel VersesKJV: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.