Since March this year, I have been approaching people for any kind of help with College fees. Applying for bursaries. Funding. Whatever I could think of, I probably did. None of them returned successful. On Monday the 8th of July, I got communication from one of the people I had approached a while back; they were offering to pay for my entire first year. I would form part of their bursary/funding programme and they would be willing to cover all my costs – which was already over the maximum amount that each applicant could receive. Every oustanding amount. Accomodation. Travel cost. Everything. On the very same day I was trying to figure out how I would be able to cover the costs I’d incurr over the next month, he committed to paying for the next 12. You can only imagine the kind of somersaults my heart was attempting!
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” – Philippians 1:6 KJV. In other versions it speaks of the good work being brought to ‘completion’ or being ‘perfected’.
Throughout the week following the conversation that Monday, I couldn’t get the above verse out of my head. I thought that’s exactly what this funding was; the completion of a work He began. That what He had said at the beginning of the year about my first year being covered, was being brought to completion. That, like always, He had kept His word.
I have always read that verse just zooming in on the fact that He would complete the good work He began. But as I continued to unpack the verse during the week, I couldn’t stop reading the very last part; ‘until the day of Jesus Christ’. And after quite the back and forth, I finally started to understand the importance of that.
The problem with not acknowledging that this good work will be performed until the day of Jesus Christ, is it can completely mislead us into believing that the fulfillment of a promise is the completion of ‘the good work’. It almost gives us the impression that we get to be done with this and move on to the next thing. We no longer need to walk through any more of the valleys because we’re finally on that mountain top. As if moving forward onto the next mountain top doesn’t sometimes require going back into a valley. And in the same breath, leaving the last part out assumes a timeline in which the good work will be brought to completion. It assumes that at some point, in my own life, it will be brought to completion. – It is so important to know that it will only be brought to completion in the coming of Jesus. Because then you realize that even though it began in me, it may not be brought to completion in me (or through me). It means that I will continue to press forward, in the hardships, and in the fulfillment of promises because I actually do not know when the day of Jesus Chirst is. And I, therefore, do not know when we are done.
A few days after the conversation with the potential sponsor. I got a facebook message from someone explaining that the processing fee I had paid had been paid into his account, and he even took it further by saying it was all part of a scam. After a few days of conversation, his story actually began to check out. But so did the potential sponsor.
I became very anxious. I was back at square one. I’m believing to leave on the 24th of July. I still haven’t enough money for a flight, let alone all the set-up expenses and finances needed to carry me for atleast a month in Sydney. But I still had so much hope in this God who would never begin a work without the intention to bring it to completion.
Almost a week later, and I still have no idea whether there has been a huge misunderstanding or whether this potential sponsor really tried me. In fact, I don’t know what tomorrow will look like. But I know that while I go through these seemingly paralysing disappointments, it doesn’t change my disposition. It does not change what God is continuously perfecting in me. And that it will continue to be performed until the day of Christ Jesus.
In the context of the verse above, the word ‘confident’, in Hebrew, means something said authoritatively. And the word ‘authoritatively’ in the English dictionary, is defined as something said or done in a way that is trusted as being accurate or true.
This journey is difficult. And even though it has many promises waiting to be fulfilled, it also has really difficult days. But, my confidence isn’t found in how I feel. It’s not founded in what promises are fulfilled when. Confidence is in what I speak. More importantly, from speaking the word of God. Because it is the only most accurate and true thing. And as I speak, my faith will be stirred. Because faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. I will continue to press on.
While He fulfils promises.
While He brings to completion a good work.
While I go through valleys.
Until the day of Jesus Christ.
I am confident.
Because His word does not return void.