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The Joy of Anticipation



"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it" (Phil. 1:6).

God always finishes what He starts.

All who love Christ desire to be like Him in spiritual perfection and absolute holiness. We want to please Him in every respect. However, that noble pursuit is often met with frustration and discouragement as human frailties and sin block our pathway.

Paul's cry in Romans 7 is ours as well: "That which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. . . . I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. . . . Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (vv. 15, 21, 24). His answer resonates with confidence and relief: "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (v. 25).

Paul was convinced that God always completes the good work of salvation He begins in every new believer—a work that progressively conforms us to the image of His Son (2 Cor. 3:18). That might seem like a painfully slow process at times, but be assured He will complete it. All whom He justifies will be glorified (Rom. 8:29-30).

In the meantime, you have an active role to play in the process. Paul called it working out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). You must discipline yourself for holiness through prayer, Bible study, obedience, and accountability to other believers. All the resources you need are at your disposal as God Himself works in you to produce His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

Rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit's prompting and take heart that God will accomplish His will.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Give thanks to God, who is able "to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy" (Jude 24).
  • Express the desire to discipline yourself for godliness. Ask for wisdom in taking advantage of all the spiritual resources available to you as a believer.

For Further Study

Read Hebrews 10:19-25.

  • What should be your attitude when approaching God?
  • What is your responsibility in light of God's promises?



From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.