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franklin county times

Why it’s good to be a work in progress

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

Philippians is probably my favorite book of the Bible. Paul’s four-chapter letter to the church at Philippi is full of vital truth for us as believers. And I love that he begins here, with this statement of two things: God is doing a good work in the lives of His children. And that good work will not be completed until we see Jesus in glory.

Every one of us is a work in progress.

Sometimes I think we forget that. I know I do. I begin to feel the weight of all that isn’t done, all I haven’t done, and all I’m not. My friend Lisa-Jo offered me the sweetest words of encouragement last fall as I was pushing to finish my book manuscript. She said, “Finishing is the hardest part. But it’s the best part! Because it’s there you find God is most faithful. When you reach the end of your words, you find it’s been His words all along.”

It’s been His words all along. It’s Him all along. We need that reminder.

Paul knew what it meant to finish. He knew it was hard. Consider these words he penned to his son in the faith, Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Paul also knew it was God who had given him the strength and endurance to fight the fight and finish the race. It was Christ who had strengthened him to keep his faith.

When Lisa-Jo shared those words of encouragement with me, she leaned in close and looked me straight in the eye. I wish I could do that right now with you. I wish I could grab your hand and speak this truth into your heart and mind and life:

Finishing is the hardest part. But it is the best part. Staying the course in your faith will push you into the heart of God like nothing else! And as you abide in Him, as you find Him to be your source of strength, as you see His power in your weakness, as you rest in His sufficient grace – it’s right there you find it was His work all along!

Lean into this beautiful truth, the reason we make God the priority and choose to rest in Him: We are works in progress, and that is OK!

In fact, it’s necessary. Because the moment we start to believe we can do this work on our own, the moment we forget it is Christ in us who is our hope in glory (Colossians 1:27), that’s when we start striving to do it on our own. And we can’t. But He can, and He does!

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