By the time the Apostle Paul was writing his first letter to Timothy, he was well aware that his confidence came from God alone. Paul felt so strongly about this he put it in the first part of his letter.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
In 1 Timothy 1:12-16, Paul recounts his wretched shortcomings and God’s stunning grace. He calls himself the worst of all sinners. Why would God use a God-denying, Christian-killing, hateful, jerk like Paul to build His church? Paul suggests it was God’s way of leaving us no chance to claim we had done too much ______ for God to use us. In other words, if God was still working in Paul, He’s still working in us.
In Philippians 2:13, Paul explains God’s methods. He gives us both the desire and the power to please Him. Yet, He relies on us to choose the right way. In the next few verses, Paul reminds the Philippians not to complain, argue or, stray from innocent living. Paul wanted us to know that God will provide the passion and the power if we’ll choose to get on the path.
We can say, “I’m confident,” not because our credentials are admirable, or our passion is unshakeable, but because our Creator is faithful. He started all this work in us and He’s faithful to complete it.
Try this: Think of something you’ve given up on. Ask God to show you how He’s still working in it. Take the first step to join God in His work.