“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The first verb for strength in verse 13 is the word “do.” That word means to prevail. Today we come to the second word for strength—“strengthens.”
The name “Christ” does not appear in the older manuscripts. Paul may have had Christ in mind. This strength might have come from multiple sources.
The Father gives strength:
“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 1:19).
The Holy Spirit gives us strength:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spiritt has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Another passage that indicates the power of the Holy Spirit in us is Romans 15:13:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The Word of God gives us strength: “
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
The Son also gives strength:
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Cor 12:9). Compare also 2 Peter 1:3.
The Christian, therefore, has four different sources of strength!
“who strengthens me”
The verb “strengthens” means to surcharge with energy. The word carries the idea of infused strength. This is endowed power or imparted strength. Endowed power is given to us. This power is not our own. It is someone else’s power. We, therefore, possess power that is not our own. This power comes from God.
God imparted this strength to Paul because he was “in Christ.” The literal rendering of this phrase is “in the one that strengthens me.” Not only was Paul independent from material things, but he did all things through or in Christ who put strength into his life. This word means to pour strength into something or someone. The Lord rendered Paul strong by pouring His strength into him.
Paul used the noun of the Lord’s relation to him in 1 Tim 1:12 and 2 Tim 4:17. He had spiritual power for life because Christ was his life. Note Eph 6:10.
Paul did not ultimately depend on anything but the Lord, who infused strength into him. That is why he did not want to leave the impression that he desperately needed financial support.
God causes us to prevail through the infusion of His own strength into our lives.
Are we careful to acknowledge the Lord’s strength in our lives? Are we experiencing God’s infused strength?