“He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
How many items have you left unfinished? A book? A house repair project? A diet? A good intention? An exercise regimen? A New Year resolution? I’m not jumping on you. I have my share of loose end, too. I could list many “could-have-beens” and “should-have-beens” from my own life.
Folks like us don’t always finish what we start. God, on the other hand, always finishes what He starts. Can you imagine what this world would be like if He didn’t? One pastor has said,
- The world would only be partially created.
- The death of Jesus would be partially finished.
- The Holy Scriptures would be partially written.
- The resurrection of our Lord would be partially fulfilled.
- The Holy Spirit would be partially given.
- The reality of Christ’s return would be partially true.
The world would be an awful place to live in if God didn’t finish what He started. Our faith would be built on nothing, and our hope insecure. That is why I hold tightly to the promise given us in Philippians 1:6. God finishes what He starts, and that includes us.
Have you ever seen these initials? P.B.P.G.I.N.F.W.M.Y. They stand for, “Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.” The moment you placed your faith and trust in God, He started a work in you that will not end until Jesus returns one day. Do you understand how encouraging this truth is?
God is working in your life to conform you to the image of Jesus. God’s goal for you is to be more and more like Jesus each day. I know what you are thinking. I have moments in my life when I am anything but “like Jesus.” But my bad behavior does not negate God’s work in me. He will finish conforming me, and you, into the likeness of Jesus.
Have you ever experienced a failure and thought to yourself, Will I ever be the person God wants me to be? Yes, you will if you continue to love Him, trust Him, and submit your life to Him. Remember, God finishes what He starts.
Have you dealt with a problem, a big mess, and wondered, Does God know what I am facing? And is He even doing anything about this problem? Most certainly, because He has this amazing way of taking our problems, using them to build our character, and make us stronger. Yes, God finishes what He starts, even in our messes.
Have you ever asked, “Is there a plan, a purpose, for my life?” Yes, and God is working out those purposes and plans. In God’s mind is a completed version of you, and a completed plan just for you. And God is bringing that plan to completion. Trust Him on this one.
This great work God is doing in your life takes time, it requires God’s special tools, sometimes it takes problems and difficulties, but most of all it takes you placing yourself in His hands.
When I served as pastor of an Alabama church years ago, 5-year-old Stephanie sang this song in church one day:
“He’s still working on me.
To make me what I oughta be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth, and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be.
He’s still working on me.” (Sung by the Hemphills)
This really is a truth that can keep you going no matter what life throws at you. And that is hopeful!