When I started at Ambassador College, I posted at 3x5 card on my bulletin board with Philippians 1:6: "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it."
It seemed to apply to me personally when embarking on the journey of starting college to study the Bible and becoming active in the ministry of Jesus Christ. The scripture gave me hope that God was committed. It then gave me faith, because the word “confident” is in the passage.
The apostle Paul described Jesus as the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). God is committed to complete what He starts in you. This is wonderful! He’s always there with outstretched arms whenever we need Him.
Understanding the nature of God, we see that He had a plan in mind for humankind since the very beginning! It begins in Genesis 1 and successfully completes in Revelation with a vision of man in a peaceful and healed world. God’s purpose does not fail.
Over my 43 years in the ministry I’ve looked to Philippians 1:6 many times as a standing promise to me. And I’ve never been disappointed. In my ministry I’ve seen just about everything. Both ecstasy and agony. But when I patiently hung on, God resolved unpleasant actions and reversals in due time. He’s been good to me, continuing His Philippians 1:6 commitment by bringing me back to Him when I’ve sorrowfully repented. I rejoice and have faith because He is so committed and reliable.
What if Jesus Christ had decided to quit anywhere along the road in His plan for mankind? What if He decided at the last second that to go through the grueling experience of death through crucifixion was just not worth it, and that He and the Father would take another approach? Salvation wouldn’t be possible.
But He is committed. While on the earth, Jesus underscored the fact that He had a mission and that He was committed to fulfilling it. Jesus said, “My food is to the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). He followed through.
God will fulfill that mission by delivering man from his current ungodly behavior into a new world. It will be a world of unimagined success because God will make it so in spite of us. In the past God has brought on floods or captivities when He was extremely provoked. But He always continued right on with His plan to bring restoration and forgiveness. He has not failed.
On the Church level, He has promised to be with His people. Over the centuries, Satan has been trying to harm and destroy the Church in every possible way—from the inside, from the outside, from every angle. But I live by Philippians 1:6 and have confidence that God will be with us no matter what Satan throws at us. I know that, because of God’s promise, we will prevail.
It was Paul who wrote these hopeful words. He had more reason to be dissuaded and discouraged. His ministry was a series of calamities, betrayals, persecutions, imprisonments, shipwrecks and more. But he could still write confidently about getting through it all. This is my example of success. I haven’t gone through a fraction of what Paul went through.
Let’s not lose heart. We live in a time when people can’t commit to relationships or promises. We don’t have to be that way. We can look to the author and finisher of our faith to finish what He’s started in our personal life, in the Church and in the world. UN