Never in Vain
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
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.
Do you ever feel discouraged? Do you feel like you are working in vain and not seeing the fruits of your labor? How does this verse encourage you?
There is nothing more discouraging than to passionately pour yourself into the work that God has given you to do only to feel like it is all in vain. Maybe you’ve been trying to start a Bible study with your friends but only one person is interested. Maybe you’ve been sharing your faith with a friend for years but they do not seem interested in coming to Christ. Perhaps you’ve been lovingly and diligently discipling your children but it doesn’t seem to make any difference in their behavior. It is hard to do the work but not see the fruits of your labor.
In today’s verse, Paul encourages us to remember that our work for the Lord is never in vain. Therefore, we should be faithful and determined to do what God has called us to do whether we seem to see results or not.
Prior to this verse, Paul wrote: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). Then, in today’s verse, he says “therefore...be steadfast.” His point is that because we know that Christ has already secured the victory, we can be confident that our work done for His purposes and His glory will yield eternal results. We may not see the fruits of our labor right away. We may not see the fruits of our labor ever here on earth. But if we are being obedient to Christ and seeking to do the will of the Father, we can rest assured that He is using our good work for His eternal purposes.
In Galatians 6:9, Paul echoed this theme: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” We will reap. There will be a harvest. Something good and valuable will come from our labors when we are obediently doing good to glorify God. We may have to wait a while. We may have to wait a lifetime. But in eternity, we will surely reap a harvest.
Friends, be encouraged. The good work that you are pouring yourself into is not in vain. Dedicate your work to the Lord, seek to do His will, and walk in obedience to Him. When you do, you rest assured that the good works that you are pouring yourself into out of love for God and others will not be for nothing. You never serve the Lord in vain!
Lord, sometimes it is easy to get discouraged because I don’t see immediate results. Help me to be steadfast. Help me to diligently persevere in doing the work that You have asked me to do because I trust You with the results. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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