“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
We have a tradition in America when official oaths are taken. Many of our oaths end with the phrase, “So help me God.” The Military’s Oath of Enlistment ends with, “So help me God.” The Commissioned Officer’s Oath ends with, “So help me God.” Presidents take the Oath of Office and end with, “So help me God.” Why is this phrase used so often when making an oath? I believe it is because there are times when we all need the kind of help that only God can give.
Philippians 4:13 is probably the most well known verse in the Bible on God’s help. Often times, it is used as a mantra by sports teams and athletes who are facing a big game or tough competition. To truly understand this verse, however, it is necessary to read the one right before it. Philippians 4:12 says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” What is the secret Paul has learned to being content, regardless of his outward circumstances? He tells us in verse 13. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Life is just plain hard. Whether it be the daily demands of work, family, and finances, or extenuating circumstances like facing a serious illness, loss of a loved one, or going through a divorce – life’s struggles can leave us beaten and bruised. It is in these times that we must remember, as Paul wrote, that we can do all things through Christ. Because of His salvation and His promises, we can learn to be content in whatever situation we face. It isn’t easy – but it is possible.
The next time you are facing a struggle, I encourage you to remember the phrase, “So help me, God.” Let that phrase remind you of the help that only God can give. His help is always available to us…we need only humbly ask. There is no guarantee for an easier life; but there is a guarantee for the ever-present strength and grace of God for those who have put our faith in Christ. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is for us. And He will help us when we call out to Him.
God, thank You for the help that only You can give. Help me to remember in times of struggle that You are always there to help me when I call. In Jesus’ name, Amen.