Will the Father finish what He began?
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – Philippians 1:6
28 But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?
29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.
30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
How often do we set goals and then not accomplish them? It is typical to start strong with lofty aspirations but not finish.
Developing a finisher mindset does not come naturally to many people. But a finisher mindset enables you to finish what you start and to get more done.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Lao Tzu).
Begin with a clearly defined end-goal. But then break the project down into small manageable pieces. Each piece should be easy to accomplish. Trying to achieve too much at once can be overwhelming. It often leads to procrastination and failure.
Finishers start small. It may sound paradoxical, but it works.
That is exactly what the Father is doing in the lives of each of His children. The Father has an end-goal for each of us. He begins taking small steps in the lives of each of His children towards that goal. He has promised to continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Knowing the Father, His character and faithfulness, engenders confidence. When the Father promises and commits to a plan of action for His children, we can be assured that He will do what He says. What He starts, He finishes. You can take that to the bank. Settled confidence opens the door to optimism for the future. Optimism blossoms into joy.
When confidence, optimism, and joy are absent, what is left? Humdrum tedium, life as usual which is often accompanied by anguish and despondency. “The opposite of joy is not gloom but despair, the incapacity to trust in any new and good future. Paul rejoices because he is ‘confident’ of what God’s future holds” (Garland).
REFLECT & PRAY
We all long for someone we can trust and who has our very best interest at heart.
Father thank You for the work of redemption You have begun in my heart and that You promised to finish what you started.
The gospel heard, understood, and received has the potential to change everything. At the beginning, His spiritual newborns know very little of the Father and His ways. His gentle touch and the caress of His loving hands begins to let us know how special we are to Him. Incredible warmth and tenderness are now ours. The bonding begins. We have entered into a long-term relationship with Him.
He did not merely call us His children, we truly become His children. He adopted us into His forever family.
What began in time, continues into eternity. The Philippians accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. This inaugurated a “fellowship of the gospel” (Hughes). What the Father has begun in them will reach a glorious consummation when Christ returns.
Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was in prison in Rome. He was facing certain execution. Yet Paul’s words overflow with joy. Despite the negative circumstances; Paul knows that the Father is in control and working out His plan. He will accomplish His work. Paul’s confidence had nothing to do with the circumstances. The Father did not make a mistake in having Paul share the gospel message and launching the Philippians on a journey that will be left unfinished. Not to mention the untold millions and millions who follow them down through the centuries.
From our limited earthly perspective, without divine revelation, we would be left ignorant of how things really are. Paul enlightens us. He sets the record straight and provides the Father’s perspective. When we see things as the Father sees them, we come face-to-face with very difficult challenges.
He asks us to recognize the inadequacies of our limited perspective. Much of the old must be discarded and replaced with the new. The Father seeks that all of His children discard wrong thinking. Inadequate reasoning and partial truth are to be relinquished. He offers a whole new way of thinking. Our minds and spirits are literally transformed. We are actually given the opportunity to think the very thoughts of the eternal Father after Him (Romans 12:2).
There is always more to walking with God Than what we’ve known, seen, learned, or experienced (Stanley).
Philippians 1:6 I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
The Father’s intentions for us were settled before the foundations of the world. At a moment in time He found us and began His work within. We can be certain that He will continue His good work in us until we become like His Son (Romans 8:29). The Greek word translated certain or persuaded is peitho. It means to be persuaded, to be certain, to be confident, to be assured, or to trust. It is a perfect participle in Greek. As such it signifies an action that begins in the past and the results continue into the present.
Years before, Paul worked through these difficult issues. He had privy to amazing personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:15-18). Undoubtedly, Paul, the intellectually gifted and highly trained theologian, asked lots of deep and probing questions. He got answers. The answers satisfied his intellect and his heart. He was totally and absolutely convinced. But then he had to calculate the cost of such a radical perspective life transformation. He was all in (Philippians 3:4-14)!
On the day when Christ comes, it will be like the coming of a king. On such a day, the king’s subjects are required to present him with gifts to mark their loyalty and to show their love. The only gift Jesus Christ desires from us is ourselves (Barclay).
That is a gift we can give them today and every day.