As anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time knows, this Christian life is not always easy. Sometimes it even seems like we Christians have more to deal with and to endure than those who aren’t saved. Our troubles, especially trying to hold back our sinful desires, at times makes us wonder “Why God? Why do I have to go through all of this mess?” I’m grateful to God that through all the times I let him down or let others down with my wrongs, or let myself down that he has been longsuffering toward me and has always been around to redirect me back on the path he’s laid out for me.
I have had to endure his corrections along the way, which weren’t pleasant when I went through them, but in the end they proved to be what I needed. When I reflect on God’s faithfulness to me in spite of me, I’m reminded of a few scriptures:
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: [Philippians 1:3-6]
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began… For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. [2 Timothy 8-9, 12]
It is God, the Father, who drew me to himself through my Lord Jesus Christ. He began the good work in me so I can do the work of God. What is the work of God? Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent,” [John 6:29]. A lifestyle of believing in Jesus Christ is the foundation for being built up to spiritual maturity in the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of what pleases God. But God, who knows my failings, did not leave me to perform his will by my own strength. I can persevere until the day of Jesus Christ because my perseverance is based on God’s purposes and promises which are unchangeable toward me, Christ’s mediation on my behalf to the Father, and the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit living inside me.
It is for these reasons I can, like Paul, have the confidence that God will keep my life and its godly purposes in his possession until the day of the Lord because I committed those things to him when he prompted me to. Thank God he never expected me to live this Christian life without his help. I am a laborer together with God in this thing [1 Corinthians 3:9]! God is working in me by his Holy Spirit not only to have the will to please him, but also to carry out what pleases him [Philippians 2:13]. I can rest assured that “a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” [Proverbs 24:16]. I am also encouraged that “[m]any are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all,” [Psalm 34:19]. This God who called me will also keep me!
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–