I have a bad habit of not finishing things that I start. I’m the girl who has a cool craft idea, buys everything I need for it at the store, and then does nothing with it. There’s a shelf I still haven’t put up even though I bought it years ago to put up in my living room so we can actually (finally) have decorations in my house. For goodness sake, sometimes I open a cabinet and never close it, leaving my kitchen in disarray (yes, I’m ashamed to admit I am that person). And if you knew how many writing ideas I’ve started and never finished…
My annoying habit and lack of discipline remind me that I have a God who does finish what He starts: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:6).
Maybe you need to be reminded of this today: God doesn’t leave us in disarray. God doesn’t forget about us. God doesn’t leave us half-finished. God is faithful to complete what He started – and what He has started in you is your faith.
Too often, we put the weight of growing our obedience or perfecting our faith on our own shoulders. We make the mistake of looking to ourselves to muster up enough faith, instead of looking to Jesus. We too often live like it’s our works that save us, instead of resting completely on His work. This way of thinking will end in one of two ways: with discouragement, thinking that we aren’t good enough or with arrogance, thinking that we’re good enough on our own. Instead, look at how the Bible paints growing in our faith:
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12a-13)
“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:29)
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) (emphasis added on all above verses)
Be neither discouraged nor arrogant; be hopeful. While we are certainly involved in these verses, your faith is not dependent on you. Rather than looking to yourself, listen to the exhortation in Hebrews 12:2 to fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and the perfecter of your faith. When you feel like you are not good enough, when you fall into sin over and over again, and when you wrestle with doubts, look to Jesus. He is the One who is good enough and overcame sin. When you feel like you’re doing all the right things and your good works deceive you into thinking you’re righteous on your own, look to Jesus. He is the One who completely and perfectly fulfilled the Law to give you His righteousness. While our faith is far from perfect, we look to Jesus to continue growing in our faith through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, knowing that at the end of days, He will bring that good work to completion.
God won’t set you aside unfinished and He will never give up on you. He will not leave you in disarray. Why can we have confidence that God will bring to completion the faith in us that He started? Because, as the last verse on the list above says, “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We can trust that God gave us faith, is growing our faith, and will bring that faith to completion not because of our goodness, but because of His goodness and character. Because He is a faithful God, He will finish what He started.