We all have been guilty of starting but not completing a project. We get distracted from our housecleaning because our friend gives us a call. We start mowing the lawn but run out of gas for the lawn mower. We begin taking lessons for piano or golf but leave the skill unmastered because it seems so out of reach. Whether a piece of art or a book manuscript, we have all left a work unfinished.
There is One, however, Who finishes what He starts. Our Creator and Father does not get discouraged, intimidated, or lazy concerning His projects. He begins…and He finishes.
The First Work
The first recorded “project” God preformed recorded in Scripture is the creation of the world. For six days He worked, speaking into existence all that we see now. Over and over again, He created a variety of animals, waters, and plants. Each time He finished the project. He didn’t leave the cows with just three legs, or the trees lacking their bark. He didn’t create the moon, but then get so weary that He gave up the idea of the sun. He fulfilled each individual project to the tiniest detail. From that moment on, God has gained the reputation of completing His work.
Our lives are His projects as well. But we are so much more meaningful than a creeping insect or swinging monkey. We were created in His image. He loves us. We belong to Him, and He treasures us. Just as we are valuable enough for Him to create, so every detail of our lives is under His workmanship. What concerns us is submitted to His attention. When He began the work of creating us, He also began the work of completing many smaller works in our lives.
Those smaller works could be many things. It could be giving us the opportunity to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It could be developing godly characteristics in us as we mature. It could be bringing us successfully to our mates, or guiding us to the employment we need. It could also be bringing us safely home from a missions trip, or bringing healing to our bodies. Whatever the case, we can be confident that they will not be left undone.
The Confidence in the Work
Many times, however, we think God has forgotten us and left a project in our lives unfinished. When we look at our empty checkbook or aching body, we assume that it’s the final product. Our senses take over as we’re moved by what we can feel and see in the natural. Discouragement sets in and we come to believe that we’ll never see God’s project finished.
When we begin to believe this way, God’s Word is quick to remind of His consistent nature:
. . . being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. . . (Philippians 1:6)
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
When we read the many stories in the Bible, we may begin to wonder if these verses are really true. What about the promises that seemed to go unfulfilled in the Bible? What about the children of Israel and their delayed entrance into the Promised Land? What about the kings and leaders who failed in their roles and ministry? The answer is that they had no “confidence” in God’s ability to “perfect” that which concerned them. They lost faith in God’s supernatural power, feared their enemies, and refused to act out of obedience to God’s instructions to them. They chose to “walk by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) when the “work” seemed too tough. Instead of trusting God to finish what He started, they doubted His promises.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8)
Patience. It’s not our favorite word, but it’s necessary if we want to see God’s promise fulfilled in our lives. Though God can perform works supernaturally in an instant, many times His perfected work takes time. It’s our job to stay in faith and not doubt.
The Perfected Work
Our role in receiving God’s promises doesn’t end with patience, however. To truly receive the best, we must have confidence that He will not only complete the work, but also make it a perfect work. If we look at Genesis once more, we’ll find that God stepped back from His work several times and declared that it was “good.” We can trust that His signature of excellence will mark the work in our lives as well. It will be perfect! In fact, we should expect it to exceed our meager imagination!
It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. (Psalm 18:32)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
The Greatest Work
The greatest finished work God performed can be found in John 19:30 when Jesus declared, “It is finished!” The work of salvation was the most significant of God’s projects as it determined for eternity the fate of mankind. From the beginning of Creation, God set this project in motion (Revelation 13:8). From then on He orchestrated the fulfillment of many prophecies to the tiniest detail. It took thousands of years to unfold, but God finished it – once for all. He’ll never have to revise or reconstruct. It is complete.
If God can orchestrate and finish something as complex and significant as the Cross, then He can certainly complete the work He begins in our lives. There is nothing to hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). From beginning to end, no detail will go untouched if we keep our confidence in the One who finishes His work!