Don’t you love the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something you’ve started? Cleaning out your email inbox, submitting a final paper, folding the last piece of clean laundry, crossing the stage to take your diploma in hand—something just feels so right about reaching the finish line of any project.
The problem for me is, I don’t get that feeling nearly as often as I would like. My house could easily double as a museum for unfinished projects. If you were to come over for a tour, you’d find partially read books, half-completed paintings, unassembled craft projects, and a wide assortment of other good intentions gone bad.
The Frustrating Reality
Believe me, if I could blame my lack of follow-through on anything outside of myself, I probably would, but I know the truth—I am the only reason that after two years, that autumn wreath is still in pieces in a bag in the closet instead of ready to hang on my front door.
If my distractibility and lack of discipline only affected my attempts at seasonal decorating, then things wouldn’t be all that bad. What’s really discouraging to me is thinking about all of the unfinished business in my spiritual life. After all these years of following Christ, shouldn’t I be further along in my pursuit of holiness?
Sometimes in the midst of struggles with particular sins or sin patterns, I can’t help feeling like I’ve made just about as much progress in my sanctification as I have with that bag of wreath parts in the closet.
The Reassuring Promise
In those moments, I’m encouraged to remember that God is the polar opposite of me. He knows how to get things done.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
God’s good intentions always result in finished products. When Paul says in this verse that God “will perfect” His good work, he means God will accomplish, complete thoroughly, and bring what He began in us at the moment of salvation to a successful finish.
What a promise! Although our progress on earth is slow, intermittent, and sometimes difficult to identify, we, like Paul, can have confidence that God never begins something He won’t eventually bring to completion.
He is at work in us, and by His grace is providing us with the power to join Him in that work (Phil. 2:12-13). According to Scripture, the reason God saves us is to make us like His Son (Rom. 8:29). We can rest assured that in the end, no child of His will be left behind.
The Completed Picture
Do you know Christ as your Savior? If so, be encouraged that what is now incomplete in your life will one day be brought to perfection. Praise the Lord, He always gets the job done!
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him”
(1 John 3:2)
Image: Billy Alexander