There is a great Scriptural truth that every believer in Jesus Christ needs to remind himself or herself of constantly as they walk on the pilgrim pathway of this world. We can certainly get discouraged and feel ourselves becoming faint in heart. In those times, my tendency is to return to a kind of self-dependency mindset that is so contrary to the gospel. Like the little engine that could, I try to muster up all the courage and strength I can for the task or simply to keep going in the faith. However, the truth I need to focus on, especially during times when I am looking to myself to persevere in the faith, is this: God in His faithfulness will establish me (hold me up so that I don’t fall away). It is quite simple—my salvation is of the Lord from start to finish. My confidence must be in Him. My hope must be in Him. I must look outside of myself to Him at all times. He is my refuge and strength. He is my salvation. Oh, how I must rest in our faithful God and His promise to finish what He began (Philippians 1:6)!
Another way of putting this is that my salvation is God’s work! It is by His grace all the way. It does not start by grace and then it becomes up to me. Jesus is truly the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). I will persevere—only because God is doing His work in me. Now, this does not mean that I am passive. God’s work in me shows up in my life. It actually shows up in my effort as well. My effort is by His power which effectually works in me (Colossians 1:29). But my point here is that the truth of His faithfully upholding me is where my confidence must rest. God is faithful and that specifically means He will do what he has promised. Recently, I have been encouraged by II Thessalonians 3:3. Paul writes, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” What wonderful news—I can rejoice in the faithfulness of my great God! I can worship and praise Him for he will not allow me to fall away from the faith. In light of this truth, I certainly must not live presumptuously, using this as an excuse to be careless. But I can let this truth encourage me not to lose heart but instead be renewed in my inner being! What amazing grace and infinite love. This awesome God, who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for my salvation, will certainly not stop working until I am safely in His presence where there is fullness of joy (Romans 8:32)!