9 June 2019
Paul begins his letter to the Philippians, ‘I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ’.
Don’t be put off by the signs of failure all around – my imprisonment, your suffering. They are temporary inconveniences and, in any case, they are actually doing some good in the proclamation of the gospel.
Keep faith with God. He has started a good work in you. He will never fail you. In the face of failure, he will continue to support and encourage you until this good work is complete.
The words which St. Paul uses to describe the beginning and the completing of the good work which God does through us are technical terms for the beginning and completing of a sacrifice.
In this way, St. Paul considers the life of every Christian to be a sacrifice which is offered to God. Like Jesus, we will experience the humiliation of failure but if we persevere, we will also experience the joy of his new life.
Looking at things like this from God’s perspective helps us to persevere the more. Unlike God, we don’t see everything. We don’t understand everything. We don’t have all the answers.
But because of the limitation of our perspective, we mustn’t assume that we have failed until we are sure that God has finished the work he began in us! He alone can see the whole picture and our failure may have been an integral part of his plan!