“For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power.”—Philippians 4:13, New World Translation.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13, New King James Version.
Meaning of Philippians 4:13
These words, written by the apostle Paul, assure those who worship God that they will receive power to accomplish His will.
Some Bible translations say that Christ is the one who supplied Paul with power. However, the word “Christ” does not appear here in the oldest Greek manuscripts. Therefore, many modern translations use wording such as “the one who gives me power” (New World Translation), “him who gives me strength” (New International Version), and “him who is the source of my strength” (New American Bible). So whom did Paul have in mind?
The context suggests that Paul was referring to God. (Philippians 4:6, 7, 10) Earlier in this same letter, Paul wrote to the Philippians: “God is the one who . . . energizes you, giving you . . . the power to act.” (Philippians 2:13) And at 2 Corinthians 4:7, he wrote that it was God who gave him the power to accomplish his ministry. (Compare 2 Timothy 1:8.) Thus, there are good reasons to conclude that Paul was referring to God as “the one who gives me power.”
What did Paul mean when he wrote that he would receive strength “for all things”? The things Paul referred to were apparently the various circumstances he faced when doing God’s will. Whether he had a lot or a little materially, he relied on God to sustain him. Paul thus learned to be content regardless of his circumstances.—2 Corinthians 11:23-27; Philippians 4:11.
Paul’s words can reassure God’s worshippers today. God will supply them with the strength they need to endure trials and to do his will. God can empower them by means of his holy spirit, or active force, as well as by means of fellow worshippers and his Word, the Bible.—Luke 11:13; Acts 14:21, 22; Hebrews 4:12.
Context of Philippians 4:13
These words are part of the conclusion of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi. He wrote this letter about 60-61 C.E., during his first imprisonment in Rome. For an unspecified period of time, the Philippian Christians had been unable to support the apostle Paul materially. Now, though, they were sending gifts to Paul to help fill his needs.—Philippians 4:10, 14.
Paul warmly commended the Philippian Christians for their generosity and reassured them that he had what he needed. (Philippians 4:18) He also seized the opportunity to share a secret of Christian living with them: All Christians, whether rich or poor, can find true contentment if they rely on God’s help.—Philippians 4:12.