Philippians 4:13 – Prospering Through Pain

Daily Devotional Bible Verse

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter from a Roman prison cell in about A.D. 61 to the church in Philippi. Joy and gratitude are prevalent themes, and given his situation, we can learn a thing or two about thankfulness from this ancient text. Paul’s letter was nearing its end as he wrote verse 12, saying,

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

In essence, Paul was revealing a profoundly simple truth: he understood the secret to contentedness. Jesus. When he faced dismal conditions and ruthless jailers, Paul was strengthened through Christ. When he had plenty and wasn’t being beaten or starved or shipwrecked, he was again being strengthened through Christ. Paul recognized this, that Christ is infinitely valuable, and therefore, in any situation, he possessed the most prized thing in all the universe (I Corinthians 6:10). That means when he had everything, he still had nothing compared to Jesus. Like mere trinkets set aside a thousand kings’ crowns. And yet, when he was lacking, even to the point of death, he still had everything in Jesus, the source of all life and eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9). Paul prospered through pain or through pleasure because he knew where real wealth resides. There was never a situation Paul couldn’t face because there was never a situation in which Paul was left to fend for himself. Our God goes ever before us, is always at work in us, and always has works to bring to completion through us.

Can you prosper through pain as well as pleasure? Do you have a skewed view of prosperity and hardship? Realize today that Christ is our ultimate treasure, and there is no thing that compares to his worth. It’s one thing to say that, and another thing entirely to honestly repeat, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Read the book of Philippians today and pray for your mind to be transformed as Paul’s was.