We are all good at starting a project with enthusiasm. However, the initial excitement at the beginning wanes when we face challenges along the way. Many even quit their project altogether when the desired outcome becomes uncertain. While this is true with men, this is not so with God. In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul wrote, “…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” (Phil. 1:6). God is faithful and he will not abandon what he has started. He will continue to work things out until it finds fulfillment. When he called us out of darkness, he intended for us to be saved. The salvation he started will continue on until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The reason why God is able to complete what he started is because he is always at work. While we were told in the Book of Genesis that God finished his work in six days and on the seventh day he rested, Jesus clearly said that “my Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17). Indeed, the Father had finished his work of creation in six days, but did not rest the way we tend to rest on the seventh day – no work at all. Rather, he was still busy on the seventh day, enjoying his creation and sustaining them with his great power. He is at work in our lives not only daily, but moment by moment. That is why we are shielded and protected from harm.
When Jesus was with his disciples, he emphasized that what he will not abandon what started in their life. Though he made mention that he was going away, thus causing his disciples to grieve, he said, “I will not leave you as orphans…because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 14:18; 16:6-7). Jesus was reassuring them that he will complete what he started through the Holy Spirit. Today, we have this assurance also, that what Jesus started in us when we received him as Lord and Saviour will come to completion as the Holy Spirit ministers to us daily.
When the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was actually relating to them his own experiences. He was so sure that Jesus, who called him out of darkness and brought him into his marvellous light, will complete his work in him. His life testimony showed that God was actively at work in his life. He testified, “I have been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers” (2 Cor. 11:23-26). With all that he had gone through, he could have quit his ministry a long time ago, or could have already died from the perils he was exposed to. However, God was not finished with him yet. God had a mission for him and he made sure that he would complete it.
God’s plan for Paul was for him to testify about his faith not only to the lowly, but also to the high and mighty. He had to stand before kings and his ultimate assignment was to stand before Caesar. Until and unless this was accomplished, not even death could frustrate this work that God had started in him. This was confirmed by the Lord’s angel, who spoke to Paul while he was in a ship that was caught in the midst of a storm and about to sink, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you” (Acts 27:24). Friends, God is able to complete what he has started in us and nothing can stop the Lord from doing it…not even death. He started a good work and it is all for his glory. Therefore, let us walk confidently and be unafraid that we cannot finish the race marked out for us. Surely, he who started this will complete it. Hallelujah!