There is one verse found in the New Testament, that has had a major impact on my life.
It’s true. A single verse has guided me through many big decisions and storms of life. Furthermore, it has had so much impact on my life that a few years ago, I chose to have the reference tattooed on my back, in the hopes that people would ask for the verse and I would be able to share my story.
To begin, before I focus on ‘the’ verse, I would like to quote the amazing encouragement that Paul offers for the Church of Philippi.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.” (1:3-6)
As you read this passage, are you not convicted? You see, Paul is writing to the Church of Philippi, who from the following few chapters, we know have problems. Yet, he starts with this amazing encouragement!
Why doesn’t he just hammer them right away? I must admit that there are a number of churches that I have trouble thanking “my God every time I remember” them (1:3). However, unequivocally I should!
Well, he doesn’t stop there. Look at the next verse. “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,” (1:4-5).
When I read this, I think about all the Believers that I disagree with and all the denominations that I struggle connecting with. Why does personality, preference and practice rule my thoughts when instead, I should just be joyful that they are partners “in the gospel”?
Perhaps, many of you reading this are thinking of all the brothers and sisters in Christ who have caused you frustration. Perhaps, you’re thinking of that one church that always seems to rock the boat. Then much like I have done so many times before, you ask the question “how can I pray with joy for these people”?
However, verse five ends with a comma! The next verse answers the ‘how’ and in my life has become ‘the’ verse: “6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (1:6)
You see, whenever we feel like we can’t deal with those members of the body who drive us crazy, we have Phil. 1:6! Despite all the troubles that the Church of Philippi was having, Paul could be “confident” because Christ “began a good work” in them and “will carry it on to completion”!
We can also be “confident” in all those Believers and local churches that cause us strife. We can focus on the fact that they are partners in the Gospel and then trust that God “began a good work” and “will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This also works on a personal level and is really the reason why Phil. 1:6 became ‘the’ verse for my life. Everyone should know that I have had some huge failures in life because of my sin and the choices I’ve made. I have also had some tough trials when I’ve felt like the world was closing in on me for no reason at all. Regardless of the situation, God has led me back to this verse time and time again.
I have repeatedly been convinced that my confidence should remain in “He who began a good work” in me and that He “will carry it on to completion.” I have consistently been reminded to focus on God’s sovereign hand directing my life and guiding me, despite my sin and the sin of others. He is with me and His goal is for my completion!
Originally posted at QuietMorningsWithHim.com by Jeremy Norton.