Coronavirus is here.
There’s no denying that fact, and there’s no escaping it. As I write this post, our country is in the earliest stages of dealing with the threat that COVID-19 poses to our country.
How serious will it be? We can’t know right now, and we won’t know until it’s in our rearview mirrors.
But God knows. And He’s still in control. The Maker of heaven and earth is a whole lot bigger than a microscopic virus. He’s got this.
Still, if you find yourself prone to fear in this uncertain time, rest assured in this: God has plans for your life, and those plans will be completed. You’re still here because you’re not done.
As we’re waiting to see where this thing goes, imagine my joy when I discovered that the post I’ve been working on over the past few weeks fits so well with what we’re facing today.
The power of music is undeniable.
In the mid 1990s, I was just discovering that Christian music was not only organs and choirs, but even included music with a more modern flair. “Worship teams” and “praise bands” didn’t exist quite yet, but were certainly on the way.
In that vein, one Sunday our church’s music pastor sang a rendition of Steve Green’s classic, “He Who Began a Good Work” (listen to Steve Green singing this song here).
I was transfixed. Through that song, God spoke directly into my heart one of His greatest promises, straight from the New Testament book of Phillipians.
[B]eing confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Phil. 1:6
When life becomes routine, when you’ve had all your children, when your career reaches its zenith and starts that inevitable downward slide (as mine was just about to do at that time), what do you do? I’ve heard it said this way: at that point, life’s focus changes from success to significance.
Through Phillipians 1:6, God taught me that my life is not over just because I may have reached the pinnacle of my earthly existence. God’s good work in me, whatever it might be, is not finished in me until He completes it.
God’s good work in our lives is just that — God’s work. It might involve a change in career, but it doesn’t have to. It might involve speaking God’s word to thousands, or it might mean serving only one person. And it changes from day to day.
Our job? Accepting whatever role(s) God has for our lives, regardless of whether we believe that we’re “doing enough for God,” or that our service, however small it might be, is having a big enough impact.
Because, as pastor David Jeremiah has so aptly observed:
A man of God in the will of God is immortal until his work is done. – David Jeremiah
3 thoughts on “Not Done ‘Til God Says So: Phillipians 1:6”
I’m really struggling with the fear of death, fear of hospitalization; fear of my wife and I getting sick, of loved ones and friends getting sick. The enemy has even had me questioning my own salvation and faith, sickening me with panic-attacks and sleepless nights. What word of advice or Scriptures would you send my way?
Hi Justin. I’ve been following your recent Facebook posts with great interest, and I know some of the struggles you’re going through. Hang tight for a few minutes, and I’ll share some Scripture with you that has helped our family through some tough times.
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Justin: I think you know that our family is no stranger to dealing with fear, anxiety, and panic. Often, when we would spend those sleepless nights with our kids, we would talk with them about the unbreakable promises of God. Sometimes when I wonder why things happen, it helps to remember that while God never promises to keep all trials from our lives, he does promise to walk with us through them. The Bible says the key to God’s help in anxious times is prayer: “[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phillipians 4:6) Peter echoes that same thought when he tells us to “cast all anxieties on the Lord, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) But God doesn’t stop there by just accepting our cares and worries. If we give Him our anxieties through prayer and thanksgiving, God promises that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:7)
Feelings go up and down, but the peace that passes understanding rests on the confidence that God hears our prayers, God listens to them and cares, God is able to carry us through these trials, and God will honor all of his promises. So when fears and anxieties cause feelings that lead to doubt, remember this: Doubt that seeks faith is not necessarily bad. Thomas, one of the most courageous disciples, had his doubts, and yet after the Resurrection he was the first disciple to correctly state that Jesus was God! (John 20:28) Asking these very questions indicates a deep desire to believe, and as John’s Gospel tells us, “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) And because of that faith, we can be confident that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor aything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
So rest tonight knowing you can sleep peacefully, because the Lord alone makes us dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8). Sleep well, my brother.
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