Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 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. Philippians 1:3-6
In his letter to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul has an unshakeable and joyful confidence he shares with the believers there. He sees their desire and effort in sharing the gospel with others. He considers them partners - true brothers. They are not perfect (just read the rest of Philippians to see this!) but they are making progress. And so Paul commends them.
It is with this same spirit that I want to address you today, you men of valor, you Taylor Trojans! This last Saturday in the game against Marian you played with heart! Though you were beset with some significant injuries which have taken out some of your best starters, you never gave up and were unwavering in your effort against one of the strongest opponents in all of the NAIA. From this parent’s perspective, you played for the glory of God. Win or lose, there is no greater thing you can accomplish! God’s glory must always be the goal! (1 Corinthians 10:31) God is working in you, for you cannot accomplish in your lives what you demonstrated on the field last Saturday on your own. And that’s a good thing.
Keep your progress in mind as you look again at our verses today and focus on verse six. Paul’s confidence lies in the expectation that God never stops working! “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” (Philippians 1:6a) In this life you’re always going to be a work in progress. It’s true of every single last one of us! There are going to be days that nothing seems to go right and every effort seems to fail. That’s common to the human experience. But one day, “the day when Christ Jesus returns,” that common human experience with all the weight of sin which so easily entangles us will drop away as we enter eternity with the One who loves us perfectly and has been working in us all along. His work in us will be complete and we can enter fully into a perfect relationship with Him. This is the hope we have in Christ. It’s what keeps us moving every day!
Where are you discouraged? Disappointed? It’s okay to evaluate your “performance,” but don’t get stuck there. It is God who is at work in you constantly--in EVERYTHING. Let Him have that discouragement, those disappointments. He knows exactly how to use them. He will continue to use them. And you will come out stronger and looking more like Jesus on the other side.