And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6
Gracious Father, today’s a great day to remember the glorious promise of this text—that “salvation is of the Lord”, from beginning to end. You began the “good work” of redemption in our lives; the one who’s carrying it on, (even when you’re not working according to our timetable and agenda—even when it seems like we’re going backwards); and, you’re the one who will complete our redemption, the Day Jesus returns to finish making all things new. When I really believe this, it makes me want to rest, dance, and work, all at the same time.
This is incredibly good news, as I ponder my story and the lives of other people you’ve placed in my life. I can’t be my own savior, and neither can I be anyone else’s savior. The pressure’s off! I never was a co-Redeemer, co-Spirit, or 4th member of the Trinity! What a great relief; but also what a critical truth to remember, as I pour out my heart to you.
Father, give me the same confidence for my friends and family, you gave Paul for the Philippians. You’re at work, even when I don’t see it. Sometimes irritation, worry, and fear loom larger in my life than patience, trust, and hope. When this happens, I’m pretty worthless as a friend.
Teach me how to wrestle in confident prayer for others; like Epaphras, who wrestled in prayer for the believers inColossae(Col. 4:12). My tendency is to wrangle emotionally, rather than rest believingly. This leaves me worn out, and it simply frustrates others. They feel pressure from me to change, rather than encouragement in their journey. They can’t rest comfortably in my presence, feeling my lack of acceptance.
Keep me tender enough to engage in broken stories, but wise enough not to give in to the pulls I often feel. Help me not to get entangled in things that have nothing to do with me; but give me the tenacity to stay present and caring. Teach me how to wait on you, without falling into self-protective passivity or self-validating activity.
Father, I know that only the gospel is sufficient for the demands of loving well; so I abandon myself to you and your resources. Help me see others as you see them, Father, and help me to love them as Jesus loves me. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ compassionate and trustworthy name.