Prayer letters coming from men in the trenches of ministry always warm my heart. I received one such prayer letter today from Jonathan Holdt, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, in Pretoria, South Africa. The whole prayer letter is worth reading as it oozes with energy about what the Lord is doing in Jonathan’s church. However, below I share with you his opening paragraph. It is about the amazing and all-sufficient grace of God.
One of the great promises in the Bible is Philippians 1:6 where Paul says, “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.”
What an encouragement that is as we reflect on our own sinful weakness and failings. The longer one progresses as a Christian the more one realises just how far short we fall of the glory of God. We realise more than ever before of our need for daily grace and the atoning blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. You may even wonder how you will make it to glory in the light of life’s trials, burdens, disappointments and failures. This is where God’s grace is so wonderfully magnified.
What a magnificent promise Paul brings to our attention that reminds us of God’s work within us; of His grace that is transforming and changing us as well as preserving us from all evil and preparing us for glory.
One thing I am learning in the ministry is just how much we need to take hold of such promises through faith. The ministry is a continual spiritual battle against the powers of darkness that is ever menacing and aggressive in its efforts to oppose and undermine the work of the Lord. There are times when one feels weary, tired, demoralised and discouraged. Yet, what sweet comfort we taste in such promises – to know that God is at work in you and will not abandon the work he is doing.
Sometimes it may even be hard to see the good that God is doing in and through you. Yet we draw fresh strength and courage from His promises that remind us that our labour in the Lord is never in vain [1 Cor 15:58].
The call to us as Christian pilgrims is to press on cheerfully – knowing that in Christ Jesus we have the victory over the powers of darkness and knowing that God will never abandon us as His children and will continue to work in us not withstanding our sinful weaknesses and failings. Praise be to the God of all grace!