If we are honest, we will all admit that we often fail to finish what we begin. We are prone to set goals and cast them aside at the halfway point. We begin projects and let them sit idle for weeks hoping to finish them at some point in the future. We often look back on these unfinished plans with regret. “If only I had set aside a little time each day, this would be finished by now,” we say to ourselves. The power to see things through is a virtue which we would all do well to pursue.
In contrast, we serve a God who always finishes what He starts. Paul identified this truth in Philippians 1:6 when he said, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” To be confident involves certainty. The work they had begun is in reference to verse 5–their fellowship with Paul in the gospel, and completion refers to bringing a thing to a successful finish. Thus, Paul was absolutely certain that God would continue to bless the Philippian saint’s efforts in the gospel unto the coming of the Lord.
This passage brings several important principles to light. First, we must remember that the work of the gospel is not really our work, but God’s. He works with us (Phil. 1:6) and He works in us (Phil. 2:13). Therefore, we must have faith in Him to bless the efforts. Second, God never gives up. As long as this world stands, God will continue to work and bless the efforts of the faithful. Finally, as we contemplate the work we do in the kingdom on both the congregational and individual level, let us do so with the same level of assurance and dedication seen in Paul and in our God. He always finishes what He begins, and so should we.