1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
What an enormously comforting verse for any Christian worker! Paul has just talked extensively about our victory over death, which had to be a pressing concern for any believer in the Roman Empire, but here he addresses what is of concern to us to the degree that we really want to serve God: am I really accomplishing anything? We can have full assurance of eternal life and still fear death simply because it means “Time’s up; put down your pencil.” We have an innate desire for our lives to mean something, to accomplish something, and Paul says not to worry about it; God’s got it covered. In recent years the idea of a “bucket list” has gotten popular, but that’s from a very secular, self-centered point of view. Visiting places and experiencing things is nice, but it has no real meaning on the eternal scale. When we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, our goals become things like the salvation of individuals and the destruction of the works of the devil. Those are things we might not see through to completion in this life, (Hebrews 11:39-40) but Paul tells us that even so, our efforts make a difference. Sometimes our greatest accomplishments are things we don’t even recognize ourselves, because we don’t see how our actions ripple through time. I’m reminded of the evangelist who had special meetings into which he poured his heart, only to have just one person commit themselves to the Lord. However, that one person was Billy Graham. What that evangelist did was certainly not in vain!
The older I get, the more this issue weighs on me. My greatest goal is to hear my Lord say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” However, I see very few results that I can point to from my ministry, at least from my current perspective. However, from my current health level, I can look forward to up to 20 more years in this life, and God knows what He’s got planned. I have had people tell me that something I said years ago greatly impacted their life and ministry for good, but that’s not something I can see, for the most part. I’ve got to trust it all to God and stand firm, just as Paul says in this verse. “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Father, thank You for this Word of encouragement. The more tired I feel, the more necessary it is! Thank You for all that You have planned for today. I pray that Your plans may indeed be fulfilled, drawing people into Your kingdom and defeating the works of the enemy, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!