13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This is the solemn witness borne by the apostle Paul while he was bound in chains and imprisoned for Christ in Rome. His confinement and intimidating situation could have broken his spirit and left him in utter distress. He could have wept over his inability to do what he had been doing before his arrest and confinement in the high-security prison of the Roman emperor’s palace. As he was not allowed to visit the churches which he loved so dearly, he was left yearning for their fellowship which was deprived him. “For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:8). Being also severely hampered in the oversight of all that he had been praying and planning for the Gospel’s advancement, he was most concerned about the preaching ministry in those churches and their spiritual safety (cf. Philippians 1:15- 16, 27-30).
Regardless of all those heart-breaking deprivations, Paul was absolutely confident that his Saviour and Lord would continue to strengthen him to do all that he had been called to accomplish. He did not fear that his present imprisonment would shut him away from divine purposes and power. Instead, he believed with all his heart that all that had happened to him would lead him to new frontiers of Gospel advancement.
Earlier in this epistle, Paul had comforted the Philippian Christians who were anxious about his arrest and confinement by reporting to them that the Lord had paved a way to new Gospel frontiers through his incarceration. “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). In the next verse, he explained that the palace (of Caesar) and its vicinity had heard of his suffering for Christ. Apparently, the Lord had given him opportunities to explain his faith to the guards, officials and workers whom he met in the palace’s prison. Thus, the Gospel spread quickly through those who believed through Paul’s testimony. Even within the palace, some had turned to Christ, as Paul wrote at the end of this epistle that “all the saints” in “Caesar’s household” joined him to salute the Philippian Christians (Philippians 4:22). Paul could not have devised a plan so effective as this to enter Caesar’s palace with the Gospel, Caesar being a sworn enemy of the Gospel. In effect, it was Christ who sent Paul into the palace as a prisoner to preach the Gospel! Christ can fulfil all His will concerning us, just as Paul had testified.