Have you ever had a moment in your life when you didn’t think you could do what God wanted you to do? Maybe you were struggling with telling someone the Gospel, or perhaps you didn’t think you could stay in your marriage. It might have been a moment at work when you didn’t think you could love your coworker anymore, or a day of pain and suffering that pushed you to the brink. There are literally thousands of moments that can that require more than we think we can give. I know have those kind of moments. Times when I feel overwhelmed, underprepared, and unable to walk the road that’s in front of me. Sometime I feel that way on Sunday mornings when I’m about to preach. Sometimes I feel that way when I look up at the Duke University Hospital sign and know what waits for my family inside. And sometimes it’s when I’m sitting in my home trying to be a good husband and father.
Tucked away in the book of Ephesians is a verse that speaks hope for those moments. It’s right after Paul’s well known confession that salvation is by grace through faith (2:9). Paul concludes his lesson on grace and salvation by writing:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepare beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Think about what God is telling you here. You are a new creation in Christ, but not a new creation for the sake of being a new creation. God remade you, re-worked you, for good works which he prepared beforehand especially for you. I was meditating on this verse this week when I was facing one of those overwhelming moments. I kept thinking, God taylor made me in Christ, and God also taylor made this good work for me. I think that’s what the ‘prepared beforehand’ part is about. The good works that God wants us to walk in were set up for us. And I believe God makes us and the good work to fit perfectly together!
Let me try to encourage you some. When we think of good works we normally think about giving money to the poor, volunteering at church, and buying a homeless guy lunch. Those things are good, but they are not the limit of good works. Loving your family is a good work. Taking care of your sick child is a good work. Loving your neighbor is a good work. Being honest and working hard at the office is a good work. Being diligent at school is a good work. In short, everything God tells us to do in the Bible is a good work.
When you see that everything God wants you to do is a good work you can find deep encouragement in Ephesians 2:10. When you are faced with being faithful in one of those overwhelming moments, trust in the promise that you are God’s workmanship and God has made this good work you. He made it beforehand for you to walk in. And God doesn’t make mistakes! He has never once make a good work for one of his children that proved to be a bad fit.