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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Confident Of This

His life as a "slave of Christ Jesus" was filled with floggings, stoning, laboring without food, drink, or sleep for extended periods of time, imprisonments, ejections from towns and cities, and now he was in Rome under house arrest awaiting his case to go before the supreme leader of the land, Caesar. With so much that could discourage and depress he wrote to one of his former pastorates rejoicing and praising God. In his letter Paul joyously proclaimed His confidence. "Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

What peace is afforded to one who can have and proclaim such confidence in the face of adversity! But let us not miss the depth and power of this confidence. A cursory reading may lift our spirits for a time, but understanding the breathed of what is being proclaimed here grants peace for a lifetime. We too with Paul can be "confident of this!"

Our confidence has validity and power for it is grounded in God Himself. "He who began a good work in you." There can be no confidence a part from God, for confidence grounded anywhere else has no substance. It is merely wishful thinking. This glorious declaration is empty without the pronoun "He" which refers to God.

Our confidence is not only in the reality and person of God, but in the reality that He is at work! He is not a God looking on from a distance; rather He is active in the lives of His people. He is at work. Life's circumstances, situations, ups, downs, tragedies, successes, mountaintops and desert wanderings are all used by God to accomplish His work in us. They are not senseless happenings. God uses all things for His good in His people. He, the Divine Artist, uses all things to bring His creation to completion.

His work is a good work, meaning a holy work. It is a good work which He began the moment we by grace through faith became His own. He wooed us and when we placed our faith in Him He began His sanctifying work, which includes instant crisis events and continuous process. The good work He began He will carry on. What peace and delight to know that we are a work in progress and God is not going to give up on us. Indeed He will carry His work on until it reaches its intended end. And God's work is always perfect in its intent, action, and timing.

Beloved let us rejoice! Relax! Take heart! Be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion!

Keep Close to Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word
is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome.


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