In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:4-6
Do you ever get frustrated with your growth and development? Do you make certain mistakes more than once and subsequently treat yourself harshly? It can be easy to forget that we are all works in progress, and will continue to be until we are in heaven.
Many of Paul’s letters are filled with instruction and encouragement not to give up, but instead to keep growing. We see this as he writes to the church in Philippi. Paul even acknowledges that he himself is a work in progress when he stresses that he presses on forgetting what is behind (chapter 3). There are some lessons we can take away from this passage above.
- Every project has a beginning – “He who began a work…” In this case the beginning starts with Christ’s redemptive work in our lives. Like a jigsaw puzzle, at some point the box has to be opened, the pieces laid out on the table, and work started. Placing your hope in Christ is the essential first step in completing the beautiful picture of your life.
- Embrace the journey to completion – We are often in a hurry to get things resolved and learn our lessons. We want to get to the goal so we can move on to the next one. The trouble with that is we can easily miss the journey and experiences right in front of us. The lessons of the moment may be the most important lessons of all. In words from Louis L’amour that I love, “The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.”
- Our completion is certain – “Will carry It on to completion.” God is not in the habit of leaving projects uncompleted. What He starts He finishes. Paul doesn’t say that he is hopeful of completion. He says he is confident. He was confident, because he had rested his hope and his future in the unchanging character of God. This is the same God we put our hope in. This allows us to live with the confidence that God is doing His remarkable work in us without ceasing. He has not given up on you so make sure you don’t give up on you.
I’d like to offer 3 questions for your consideration this Monday morning:
- Have you taken the first crucial step in beginning your journey to completion by trusting Christ with your future?
- Are you fully embracing each day of your journey?
- Are you living with confidence that God will complete the process of you becoming the person He imagined when He created you?
Live this week on purpose,