Hope for Ourselves and Others

| Mon, Jul 25, 2011 | Set 1 Week 30

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This little verse is a reminder to us that when God begins a gracious “good work” in us, he finishes it. Paul encourages himself and his readers in Philippi of this as he celebrates their partnership with him in the gospel. There is encouragement here for us, too.

Be confident of this: if you are a believer it is because God “began a good work in you.” The verb means, “to inaugurate.” As there are no accidental inaugurations of kings or presidents in this world, so also, there are no accidental works of grace in the lives of people. That today you believe in Christ is an evidence of God’s intentional, gracious initiative within your soul. Be encouraged and give thanks to God for his saving initiative within you such that today you believe and bear evidence.

Also, be confident of this: that the work that God has begun in you, he will “bring it to completion.” Do not let your feeble faith lead you into despair, because God is faithful to continue his work within you until that day when we are completely conformed to the image of Christ.

Because of this promise, we are hopeful not only for ourselves but also for other believers. We don’t write off any believer. We have hope for every person in whom God has begun his work of faith: our spouse, children, parents, co-workers, friends, and our church. God finishes what he starts. Neither do we write off any unbeliever, but we pray that God would begin a saving work in them and then trust that he will finish what he starts in them, too.

So how might this verse encourage you to press on in faith and not give up? Furthermore, how might this verse change negative attitudes toward the church or other believers who bother you?

 

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