Prayer- Gracious Father in Heaven, I don’t feel very joyous today, even though I know I “should.” (Is it OK for one of your kids to have the “blahs” after a couple of weeks of quarantine?) I approach your Word hungry for some good “soul food.” Please feed me with “food that endures for eternal life” (John 6:27).
Scripture- 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 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.
“Would you please just let me finish?” Ever heard that? Ever said that? We live in a culture of interruption. I admit I’m one of the worst offenders, jumping in when I should be listening, wanting to get out my thought before I forget it (old age does that to you). But it’s rude, it really is. And not just in conversation, but in the completion of tasks or entertainment as well. We’re in such a hurry, we even use word contractions…
But some things take time to be done right, things like the growing up of a child, or the maturing of a Christian. And what if it is the Heavenly Father slowing us down and saying, “Would you please just let me finish?” Only finishing takes more than a lifetime. Salvation comes with a death to self and commitment to Christ Jesus, but the “good work” begun in us requires patient, steady, often painful progress and learning.
Do you ever worry that God might grow discouraged by your/my lack of progress, by our inattentiveness, our timidity or our stubborn worldliness? Paul does not share that concern. He says in v. 6, “Being CONFIDENT of this…” If I were a betting man, if I were going to count on someone, if, if… Paul is confident that God, who began a good work in us, will carry it on to completion, to maturity. How long is God committed to working on us? Until the day of Christ Jesus. As long as He needs to. Long enough. He is in it for the long haul.
Some days I just don’t feel very on top of things. God is still working. Some days I’m just on fire with the power of the Spirit. God is still working on those days, too. Some days, my behavior pleases Him. Some days, probably not so much. But He loves me no less on those days, and His work continues; The work HE began in me, HE will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Prayer– Thank you, Heavenly Father, for going the distance with me, for loving me when I feel unlovable, for having a vision for who I can become, when I just can’t see it. And thank you for working on me, with me, through me- every day. Through Jesus, Amen.