I wish to say a word to all those who labor for the Lord for the advancement of His Kingdom and the furthering of the Gospel:
“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13
We have been called to take part in God’s redemptive work on earth! That is both a great privilege and a great responsibility. The task can seem overwhelming at times, especially when we start to think that everything rests on our shoulders. But things do not rest on our shoulders. God is still sovereign. He can accomplish His will without us, but He chooses to let us take part in it! What a great gift that is! We get to be co-laborers with Christ!
It is easy for us to lose sight of this though. We easily get caught up in our tasks, in attendance, in the outcomes of what we do. We lose sight of Who we serve as we focus on what we’re doing for Him. It is my hope that I, and those who labor with me would be able to keep our focus. I pray that we would be able to fulfill our calling well. I pray that we would realize the joy of our Master when we do our jobs well. Even when we do not see the fruits of our labor, I pray we will know it was all worth while.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes to the church about the issue of resurrection. He addresses multiple facets of this and concludes this section connecting resurrection with the end of all things when “the perishable puts on the imperishable” (v.54) and when it comes to pass that “death is swallowed up in victory” (v.54) We are told that victory (over death and sin) comes through Jesus Christ. Paul then closes this section with this encouragement: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (v.58)
Praise God that we can know “that in the Lord [our] labor is not in vain.” I know this has been a great encouragement to me when I have not seen the fruit of my labor and when I have labored so hard to proclaim the Lord and His love. There are times in any ministry when things don’t seem to be going well and when all our efforts are for nought. Even in these times, God is working. Many times God works in the background doing things we could never even imagine. In the end, we need to be obedient to do the things God has commanded us to do and trust that our labor is not in vain. We have been told in Scripture that it is not in vain. The question is: Do you believe it?