“I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.” (Isaiah 49:4)
Sometimes our Christian journey can feel like it’s in vain. Preachers and missionaries give up their jobs, homes, and comfortable living to barely win converts to Christ. Scores of believers spend an enormous amount of time in prayers, intercessions, and service without seeing the fruit of their labor. When we start to feel like our labor of love to Christ is in vain, we need clarity and it’s time to do a “spiritual” reality check of our lives …..
Check #1 ~ Who called us to this place?
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
(2 Timothy 1:9)
Because God called us (and not we ourselves), we have meaning and purpose even though we don’t always feel it …..
Check #2 ~ Who gets the glory from our labor?
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)
As we labor in God’s work, He receives glory even when we don’t see the fruit, because His ways are above our finite ways. We need to always be giving all credit, honor, and glory to Jesus Christ, Whom we can do all things through His strength (Philippians 4:13) and apart from Him nothing (John 15:5) ….
Check #3 ~ What do we expect to gain from our labor?
“So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily He is a God that judgeth in the earth.” (Psalms 58:11)
God will reward us for our faithfulness to His calling with blessings in this lifetime, through His presence and peace, however yet greater as well the reward in the beauty of eternal life ….
Check #4 ~ When are we done with our labor in the Lord?
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
Our labor in the Lord is complete when we take our last breath as there’s no retirement plan for God’s people; we just move to another adventure ….
Check #5 ~ Where does our labor in the Lord lead us?
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
There’s a wonderful rest in Christ available to each of us and we find this rest when our hearts receive the Lord’s grace and comfort. And we may find our rest in our prayer and time spent at the Master’s feet …
Check #6 ~ How do we know that our labor is not in vain?
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 15:58)
Because we walk by faith and not by sight, we know that everything, every single thing done in the name of Christ has a purpose and reward ….
Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, never lose sight of where our true reward lies. Dont lose hope or grow weary, for it is written: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galations 6:9-10).
Your labors of love; whether it be intercessory prayer, feeding the poor, street evangelizing, or any other work that you are pouring yourself into for the Lord; just know that He sees and knows, even if you receive no acknowledgment here on earth. Our rewards shall be in heaven, and we shall have that glorious rest forever ….
Let us pray ~
Thank You Father that You are faithful to equip all those whom You call into Your service that they may carry out and complete the work that You have prepared for them to do. Lord, You know my own limitation and inabilities and I pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit You would furnish me with the necessary skill and graces to fulfil all that You would have me to do. I thank You Father that You are the same yesterday, today and forever and just as You went ahead of so many of Your saints of old and furnished them with the abilities and capacity to fulfil the tasks that they were given, so too I pray that You will graciously carry out Your good purpose in my life too.
Give us grateful hearts and a willingness and desire to share with others the grace and mercy that You have showered on us day by day, without measure.
Help us Lord to demonstrate Your great love and grace to all those that cross our paths today and may we be ready and willing to witness of You and to give an answer for what we believe that many may also come to know You and to accept Jesus as their own personal Saviour and friend, simply because they saw Him in us.
Help us to edify and uplift other members of Your body and in all things, and that we may be Your hands and feet, Your eyes and ears and Your heart of love in all we say and do today.
Just as You promised to be with both Moses and Isaiah in the work that each was called to do; so I trust You to strengthen and support me in all that You have set before me this day and may I do everything as unto the Lord, in Jesus name I pray, Amen …..