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. PHP 1.6
We should look at Christian brothers and sisters as those whom Christ is changing and will continue to change.
If someone is truly born again, then Christ has begun a “good work” in them – the good work of transforming them into his own image. And he will not fail to complete this good work. Until the day he returns or we go to be with him, Christ is patiently, faithfully transforming his children. Little by little his Spirit chips away at our sins and helps us to put them to death. Week by week he changes our desires to be more like his own. He speaks to us and sharpens us through his Word preached and read. Trial by trial, he increases our faith and humbles us.
Sometimes we can be impatient with our fellow believers. Why can’t they change more quickly? Sometimes it might seem like your spouse will never be different. But if your spouse is a genuine believer, he or she will change, because Christ is working in them. If your child or teen is truly born again, they will bear fruit sooner or later.
This is my confidence when I’m counseling believers. Knowing that Jesus is working in them frees me from feeling any need to pressure them to change. It gives me confidence to simply share God’s word and trust the Holy Spirit to bring hope, encouragement and conviction. It frees me from the temptation to be impatient with someone’s slow progress.
Having been a pastor for 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the Lord work in the lives of people over many years. I’ve seen God gradually transform husbands who seemed like they’d never change. I’ve seen God cause young believers who kept falling into sin to live lives of steadfast victory. I’ve seen Jesus make doubters who needed constant reassurance into those who encourage others.
If you have called on the name of Christ, don’t be dismayed by your sins and failures. Keep turning to Jesus, keep trusting him. Get back up when you fall. He’s at work in you and he won’t fail.