If you haven't paused lately and let out that deep sigh of satisfaction, you need to stop and ponder God’s soul-satisfying guarantee: God always completes what he starts -- especially his work in your life.
When Paul writes, "I am sure of this,” he is writing from a deep settled persuasion.
On the night of April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr stood in the pulpit of the Mason Temple, the national headquarters of the Church of God in Christ. He gave what would be the last speech of his short life. The next day he would be assassinated while standing on the balcony of the Loraine Hotel in Memphis Tennessee.
“I’ve Been To The Mountain Top,” the popular name of that speech, is full of conviction. King said,
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!
King's ringing conviction exemplifies the idea of “being persuaded.”
When Paul said, “I am sure of this,” his words carried that kind of persuasion. God guarantees a soul-satisfying happiness because God is at work in your life past, present, and future.
- Past — He began it. “He who began a good work in you.” God was thinking of you way before you ever thought about him. You did not start your relationship with him, he did! In another place, Paul writes, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Ephesians 1:4). Chew on that amazing truth for a minute or two!
- Present — He continues it. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion." God continues what he starts. That is his present work. He brings an encourager when we are discouraged; a humbler when we are arrogant; a refresher when we are dry. He's good like that. You have experienced this haven't you?
- Future — He will complete it. “Will bring it to completion at the day of Christ.” God is going to finish what he started in you! That day is coming.
How do we respond to that kind of guarantee from God? Let me suggest three things:
- Rest: Rest in what Christ has done to win you and make your right before the Father. You cannot add one thing to Christ's work. God loves you -- not because you perform -- but because Jesus died for you. I love the way the Psalmist puts it: “But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.” Psalm 86:15
- Rejoice: God is working in you today! You may be feeling: “Yeah, but I don’t see it and I don't feel it.” That does not matter. Your feelings or lack of them do not aid or diminish God's work in your life. He is at work even when you don't notice it. He promised and God always keeps his promises.
- Relax: God is going to finish what he started in your life — through the goods and bads, the ups and downs. God’s got this. God’s got you!
Today may not feel like your "best day." That's okay. God is at work -- past, present, and future.
So go ahead, take a deep breath and let out that deep sigh of satisfaction. God always completes what he starts -- and that includes his work in your life today!