Bring it On!
2020 has been the worst.
There, I said it. Everyone reading this already thinks it anyway, but now I’ve said it. 2020 has truly been the worst.
The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians from a prison cell in the city of Rome. His situation was bleak, his health was poor, and his life was in jeopardy. Yet, in spite of Paul’s circumstances, the constant theme through the book is the concept of “joy.” As I consider his physical and emotional state while writing this letter to the church in Philippi, I’m surprised by his consistent confidence in his tone.
He would say things like, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4)
And, “Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice; yes, and I will rejoice” (1:18)
And, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:7)
Even statements like, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (4:13)
These words were written by a man who is sitting in prison and awaiting his death. Yet, the theme of his letter was joy and peace. How is that possible? The answer is simple: his confidence was not in his circumstances—his confidence was in Jesus Christ!
At the beginning of the book of Philippians, Paul sets the tone for the entire letter. He 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.” (1:6). You see, Paul’s confidence was not in his circumstances—his confidence was in Jesus Christ. Because God began a work in the life of Paul, he could be confident that God would continue to work in his life—regardless of the situation he was in!
As we sit in the middle of this tumultuous year, we wonder if it’s ever going to end. Even more, we wonder what God has in store with all He has allowed us to endure this year. Rest assured—He has a plan! I don’t know all that His plan entails, I don’t understand why He does what He chooses to do, but I know that He’s started something. And if God begins—He will bring it to completion.
Our theme for the TBCA 2020-21 school year is “Bring It On” which comes from Philippians 1:6. In English, we translate the verse to read that He began a good work in us and that He “will bring it to completion” which is five words in English. In the original Greek, it’s only one word, epiteleo, and it’s literal rendering can mean “to bring to an end, to accomplish, to perfect.” In the circumstances of our lives and the things we endure, God is trying to make us more complete and ultimately to perfect us into the image of Jesus. By claiming the phrase, “Bring It On,” we are inviting God to mold us into the perfect plan He has for our lives. Although He does not promise us that the process will be easy—He guarantees that the process will bring us into completion, because it is He who initiated the work within us. Bring It On!