For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul reveals another way to develop a grateful heart: a confidence in God’s purpose. He says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
God has a purpose for your life, and He is using every circumstance to accomplish His purpose for you. God is doing a work right now in the life of every person reading these words. Even if you feel like your world is falling in around you, you can be grateful because God is doing a significant work in your life. Today we will see four things God has done, is doing, or will do in your life one day.
First of all, God is doing a work in our lives called justification. Justification is an act of God that occurs the moment we call Christ our Savior, by which God declares us not guilty. God justifies us the moment we confess that we have sinned and that we need Jesus as our Savior. We admit to God that we can’t save ourselves and commit to depend solely on what He did for us. Romans 5:1 says that those of us who have been “justified by faith” now “have peace with our God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The second work of God in our lives is glorification. This is something God will do to us in the future. Glorification is a work of God that will happen at the Rapture, when in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, God will take these old, worn-out, sinful bodies and transform them into brand-new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:52–53).
The third work God does in our lives is manifestation. Manifestation is something God does through us. God shows Himself to other people through us. Understand this distinction: good works do not produce salvation, but they do prove salvation. The Bible says that good works are the “fruit” of salvation (John 15:5). And the reason good works are so important after we’re saved is that people see God manifesting Himself through our actions and they are attracted to God. That’s why Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
A fourth work God is doing in our lives is called sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which God shapes us into the image of Jesus Christ. Remember this: God is always doing a good thing in your life, not only through every happy experience, but also through every difficult experience. He is chiseling you and shaping you until you look just like Jesus Christ—in your attitudes, in your affections, and in your actions.
That’s what Paul was writing about in Philippians 1:6 when he said, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The verb perfect in this verse means complete; in other words, God will keep working in your life to complete His good work in you until the day of Christ Jesus. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through right now; God has not abandoned you. You can be grateful no matter what your external circumstances are, because God is going to use all those things to accomplish His purpose for your life until you resemble the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Outrageous Joy” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.