Words of Hope

Good News. No Boundaries

You Are a Work in Progress

by: Jane Olson

Sometimes we’re tempted to can the Christian life because it feels unrewarding. Growth seems painfully slow: the same sins tempt us, character flaws depress us, our spiritual life feels stale. We begin to wonder, “What’s the point of it all?”

During these spiritual dry spells, thanksgiving is difficult because we feel hopeless and discouraged. But Paul reminds us that our lives are under construction—and God is a faithful builder. “He who began good work in you will bring it to completion.” The “work” that Paul describes here is the process of sanctification, “the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (v. 11). God is transforming us, through the work of the Holy Spirit, to conform to the likeness of Christ. We are a work in progress.

As with any building project, there can be times when progress is agonizingly slow. When we experience personal difficulties or setbacks, we’re tempted to think that we haven’t grown at all. We develop tunnel vision, focusing only on the present and forgetting the ways in which God has been faithful to us in the past.

One of the first habits of the thankful heart is to remember—to spend time reflecting on the past and the ways in which God has been at work in your life.

Reflect: How has God changed you and challenged you over this last year? Thank God for the areas in your life that are under construction.