Trust The Process
It’s pretty easy to be discontent with life, more specifically, it’s easy to be disappointed with who you are.
This is especially true if you are a follower of Jesus. A significant part of the Christian life is to experience change and renewal from within. When you first come to know the Lord, that change seems pretty instantaneous and obvious. Yet, as time goes on, evidence of change seems to slow down or plateau. Suddenly, it appears God has put a pause on the whole “changing you” thing.
This can lead to a slew of emotions, primarily frustration, and even doubt. Eventually, you begin to question if what you experienced when you came to know Jesus was real — if it was, would you still be battling that porn addiction? Would you still be discontent with what you have? Would you still be losing your temper over the same things? How about feeling depressed and anxious about life? Being a Christian should result in these things improving or going away, right?
In short, the answer is yes. The gospel leaves no area of our lives untouched. This means we should and can expect God to work in even the smallest details or aspects of our being. But that doesn’t mean things automatically go “poof” and we arrive at perfection. Instead, what we read about in the Bible is a slow, gradual, and oftentimes painful process of being made more like Jesus. We like to refer to this process as “sanctification.”
In his letter to the church of Philippi, Paul noted this great encouragement right from the beginning:
“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.” (Philippians 1:6)
I’m not going to argue that the Christians in Philippi were in their feels about their spiritual journey, but the principles laid out in this short, yet potent verse are applicable, nonetheless. Here are three quick observations from this text:
1) This is God’s doing. Paul was confident that “HE who began a good work…” would see its completion. Meaning, you didn’t start it, God did. Your sanctification is not something you decided to do one day, it was God’s. You are, as Ephesians 2:10 says, “His (God’s) workmanship” — let him mold you as he wills. He is God of all Creation.
2) He’s going to finish what he started. No one is being left half assembled or formed (if we continue with the workmanship metaphor from the previous point). He is a God of completion. We are all people in process. Read that again and say it out loud, specifically this part: “people. in. process.” Everyone you see in your day-to-day life is another person in process. This point shouldn’t be restricted to merely being a comforting sentiment for yourself — think of other people in light of this. A practical result of understanding this is dispensing more grace. Because we are all in the same boat
3) God is in no rush. Paul wrote that he would bring this work to completion, “at the day of Jesus Christ.” That’s another way of saying, “By the time Jesus comes back you’ll be ready.” God gave himself the longest due date possible. Not because he is lazy, but because he is patient (2 Peter 3:9). Look at the story of the Bible and all its characters and you will find that he is a God of patience.
Here's the bottom line: trust the process.
73 times in the Bible God says he acts for his "name's sake." This means that when the integrity of God's name is on the line, you can trust he will see it upheld. If he promised to do something, he is going to follow through. And guess what, one of those promises he has tagged his name on is completing the work he started in you. Trust the process.