Christ is the light within and the light that leads us to an inner strength that is higher than humanity, toward the ultimate and ideal consciousness, in a spiritual union with the soul and empowerment through His Spirit.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
– Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
– Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
The humanist and the Stoic focus on self-sufficiency, always looking solely for strength from within and self-reliance. But can we really rely on our own abilities 100 percent? Do we not have moments of weakness or even permanent ones? Shortcomings? Of course we do.
That’s why the apostle Paul encourages us not to look within, but to Christ.
“I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.”
Do we not sometimes find ourselves in challenges where we lack understanding or wisdom? The answer is yes, and the frequency is many times. Where humanism and stoicism fail is the mere fact that no human has all the answers.
The Bible says:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
The apostle Paul learned through his own humbling experiences that our human weaknesses are overcome through strength in Christ. He writes:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians:8-10
Paul’s message here is that, no matter what life throws at us, through the strength of faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit will give us the inner strength to endure whatever comes our way externally.
Paul is so energized by the mental strength in Christ, we can detect his cheerfulness about his challenges. All of these negative obstacles cannot overcome the power of Christ within. Rather than inhibit, these limitations inspire and motivate even more so.
“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;”
– Colossians 1:10-11