Some people are just born determined. Once their minds are set, they have every intention of following through. Obstacles are mere opportunities. Giving up is not an option. They are productive. They are successful. They are…amazing.
I’ve always admired such people. Because I am not one of them. Oh, how I wish persistence came naturally to me. But alas, it does not. Consistency, tenacity, perseverance – God is forming these qualities in me, yet through blood, sweat and tears.
Maybe that’s why the following verse is so precious to me.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” Phil 1:6.
Our God is not a quitter.
What untold comfort that gives to my heart, because it means that becoming like Jesus is not up to me. This is God’s work. And He never gives up. He will finish what He started.
Sometimes I get off track, or side-tracked, or just plain tired and I don’t feel like pressing on. I’m weary of the battle against the flesh and sin just looks easier. But God is faithful. He is committed to forming Christ in His children – more committed than any human could ever be. Patiently, persistently, passionately conforming us to His image.
But there’s another priceless facet to this verse. Just as God works relentlessly in me, He is tirelessly working in the lives of those I love. My husband. My children. My brothers and sisters in Christ. What He has started in their hearts, He will bring to completion.
So instead of panicking if they make wrong choices (as I often make), I can rest assured that God will not leave them alone. If they give up, God will not give up on them. With confidence, I can pray to the Father who loves them even more than I do. I am free to be patient as He works in their lives, even as God is patient with me.
This work of walking with Jesus, of growing in grace and knowledge, of producing the fruit of the Spirit – it is God’s work. With tireless devotion, with patient persistence, with wisdom and power and grace, God is creating beauty in the lives of His own.
Rest assured, dear child of God, you will never be given up on. There is always hope, because the God of hope is committed to you. And that person you love – God loves them immeasurably more than you do. He will not abandon the work He began.
How does God’s patience with you impact your view of yourself? Your relationships with others?