…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

To me this verse is sort of the ultimate expression of encouragement. You see encouragement is supposed to bring courage and with courage comes confidence. This is what so many people in our world seem to lack. People are willing to do just about anything, or go along with anything, for fear of not fitting in or measuring up. Think of all the destructive paths that people will enter into and the carnage that goes along with it in the name of measuring up to a worldly standard that shifts like the sand. It’s madness. It’s got to stop and the verse tells us how.

One of the great things about Christianity is it takes measuring up off the table. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This means none of us, by definition, measures up. I know that sounds like the opposite of encouragement, but it’s not, for one reason. Jesus met us at our worst and laid down His life for us because we were worth it to Him. Our confidence, then, comes not in our own goodness or righteousness, or in our ability to measure up, or anything else. Our confidence comes from Him and His love.

Look at the above verse again. Why are we confident? Because He who began a good work in us. Stop there. Even as people of faith there is a certain amount of measuring up that we can be lured into. Jesus saved us and now we need to measure up. Now this is not to say we should not repent of our sins and try in Him to live righteously. We should. Also believers have a call on their lives, and we can get caught up in whether or not we are being successful in that calling and once again, we are trying to measure up, but that’s not what the verse says. Oh we need to be faithful and do what we can, but who began this work? He did. He began the good work in us. He knows what we’re capable of because He made us and when He made us, He began the work. He already knows the path you’ll take and what you’ll do and He has planned for it. He began it in you, and then it says He will carry it through to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. In other words, He will finish what He started in you by the time Jesus returns and sets all things right.

This means you were not responsible for the beginning, and you are nor responsible for the ending. You’re responsible for what you do and the choices you make and that’s it. Your responsibility can be summed up in one word, faithfulness. You do your best to live a godly life, and you repent when (not if) you fail. You are responsible for doing the best you can with every opportunity, and repenting when, for whatever reason, you don’t. Friend, the plan and the purpose is bigger than you and me, and all along the way, at every step of the way, God knows. He is not dependent on us and we are totally dependent on Him. The pressure is off. Give God your best and He will handle the rest.

Be confident. You are loved by God and He’s got this!

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