“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.” Paul said this to the Philippians church (in Philippians 1:6). But, God, through Paul, is saying this to each of us.
It is a promise we can hold onto. Sometimes I have trouble being confident, as Paul was confident, that God is at work in my life. In Alcoholics Anonymous we have a saying that says, “Believe I believe you can recover.” This is often said to a newcomer, someone still struggling with the compulsions and urges of the addiction, who can’t see that a sober life is possible (or even desirable). But the oldtimers know that recovery is possible and ask the newcomer to believe they believe. In the same way, when I have trouble believing my life will get better, I can believe that Paul believed it would – that it would in fact be perfect by the time Christ returns. When my confidence is lagging, I can count on Paul, in this passage and others, to remind me that all is not lost, that the adventure is not over.
Today is one of those days. I feel like I don’t know if I will get better – physically, spiritually, or mentally. I feel unsure of what the next step should be. I feel uncertain of what the next right thing I should be doing is. My confidence might be lagging, but Paul’s is not. I can think about Paul’s confidence that God is working and give myself a little pep talk: God is not done. He is still working. Paul said so. I choose to believe.
So today is a little better. I applied a Biblical principle, a recovery concept, and a mental health skill (cheerleading statements to myself) and now life doesn’t seem so fatal. Maybe, I’ll do another good thing. Maybe I’ll take a walk (with my shoes on).