“… Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ…for it is God at work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.” (Philippians 1:6; 2:13)
The Apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote these words to his favorite church. Chained between two Roman soldiers without any privacy, he was not able to shepherd these believers he loved so very much. But is he stressed out because he fears that they will fall away from their faith? No, he has a beautiful confidence that they will continue in their faith until the day when Christ returns for His church!
The source of his confidence is found in two realities: he knows that the risen, living Christ has begun the miracle of regeneration in them, and he is completely convinced that Christ will continue any miracle work of salvation He begins. His confidence is not in the fact that he has led these people to Christ. His confidence is in Christ!
In Philippians 2:13 Paul adds that his confidence is in God Who is at work in them giving them the will and the power to do according to that which pleases Him. Why is it that some people want to please God and others do not? Why is it that some people have the grace to do what pleases God while others do not? Paul answers those questions when he writes that it is God working in these believers giving them both the want to, and the power, to live in a way that pleases God.
Where is your confidence that you will continue in what Christ has begun in your life? What a miracle it is when we see evidence that God has begun the work of salvation in the life of one of our loved ones. Where is your confidence that those you love will continue in what Christ has begun in their lives? Is your hope in them? Is it in your ability to shepherd and mentor them?
Or is your hope in Christ Who began that miracle and in God Who can give them the will and the power to do what pleases Him?
Dick Woodward, 09 October 2009