"I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Certainty and confidence are the DNA of biblical hope. The Christian view of hope is a faith-based certainty. Sounds a little oxymoronic, doesn’t it? We generally do not talk so much about faith and knowledge at the same time because they seem to be polar opposites. Part of our hesitancy in talking about a relationship between the two stems from our Christian history in which a group of people called “Gnostics” tried to displace faith with what they called “knowledge,” (hence their name). Is there any connection between faith and knowledge, though, that is legitimate?
Probably there is. For example, for someone to make a decision about Christ, we need to impart at least a certain amount of information so they can make a decision of faith. There is some body of material they need to know, and then they decide.
There is another possible connection. Faith can become so strong and hope so clear that we can say with Paul, “For I know whom I have believed.” We know Him in the sense that we have a personal, faith relationship with Him. We know Him as we might know another person, that is, have a relationship. But we also know Him in the sense that we believe in Him and believe His word so strongly that we are certain of what we believe, so that we say that “we know.”
Paul expressed this certainty and confidence in his statement to the Philippians that the Lord who began a good work in them would carry it to completion. That had to be encouraging to them. It’s an encouraging thought to us as well. It’s important that we realize that we are a “work in progress.” God continues to shape and mold us. Sometimes it may feel like He’s starting over like a potter with clay. For some it may feel like He’s whittling away the wood, or chipping off the marble that doesn’t need to be there, so that His “artwork” takes the shape of what He has envisioned for us. This may not exactly be comfortable for the clay, the wood, or the marble, but our certainty and confidence tell us that, even though we may not understand, God knows what He’s doing.
Lord, We trust ourselves to You, that Your will may be done. Amen.