Links Daily Devotional

Christ’s Strength

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

Oh, how I needed to be reminded of this passage during this past week of golf!

Playing in a member/guest golf tournament, I was suffering from tendonitis in my left arm and it hurt every time I took a swing, especially when I made contact with the ball. Much worse was when I hit the ground first. Ouch!

On a few shots, I was so afraid of the pain that I would top the ball. It was awful enough for me, but I felt so bad for my partner. I could deal with the defeat myself; I just didn’t want to let my partner down.

Well, as God would have it, in my golf bag I had a golf tee that one of our Links Players once gave me. Imprinted on the tee was the reference for today’s well-known verse, “Philippians 4:13.” As I teed up the ball with this verse on my heart, I began to hit the ball with confidence and the pain seemed to lessen. Mind you, I put on an armband, which certainly helped, but what helped most was focusing on God’s strength, because my arm was weakening as we played further in the round.

Life, like golf, has its challenges. The church of Philippi faced many difficulties, so Paul encouraged the Philippians to pursue Christlikeness. This is important. It is one thing to say you are a Christian; it is a whole other level of living to be a follower of Christ and live in his strength and according to his example. Christ knew pain. He suffered as we suffer. But we do not bear up under pain in our own strength, or even in the strength of a medical aid like armbands or Tylenol. We bear up under trial by the strength of Christ within us. “I can do all things through Christ…

Can we really do everything? Surely God is capable of the supernatural in us. But what Paul was suggesting was this: we can do God’s will in Christ’s strength. The notes in my Life Application Study Bible help here: “He does not grant us supernatural ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to his interest. As we contend for the faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials. As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you.”

I did need God’s strength to finish that painful golf round, but more importantly I refocused my weakness. I drew strength from Christ, and I know that you can do the same. Whether you face golf challenges or life challenges, call on Jesus for strength. He hears you.

Dereck Wong
September 11, 2014
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