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.
After a full chapter of talking about resurrection, Paul comes to this. The whole thing about resurrection for us is that it is a future reward, and it is one the devil would love for us to lose sight of. Knowing that God has such good stuff in store for us should help us get through anything. The thing is, we are easily distracted, and when we focus on the difficulties of the moment, we can get discouraged and depressed. This is something I have experienced many times over the years. Thankfully, God has always been faithful to bring me back into focus, to remember that “This world is not my home; I’m just a passing through,” as the Spiritual says it. From time to time the Lord allows me to see a glimpse of fruit from my labors that had not been evident to me, and that can be a real encouragement. Ministering in Japan, it can be easy to feel that nothing you do really accomplishes anything! However, that’s just a deception of the devil. We don’t see what is going on in the spiritual realm, and God never wastes anything. That’s what Romans 8:28 is all about. We need to let God be God and trust Him with the job, listening faithfully for whatever part He wants us to play.
This is very timely for me, because the spiritual warfare is pretty intense. I should take that as an indication that God is doing good and/or big things that the devil is trying to block! However, I know that the outcome is already decided, and it’s good. Right now we are being hit with health issues and people issues and busyness and schedule conflicts of all sorts, and discouragement and depression loom over us. I’ve got to remember what God told me personally: rest, relax, rejoice. It’s amazing how easy that is to say and how hard it is to do! I need to remember that from God’s viewpoint it’s all already done, and the result is good.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Cathy’s pain level is hard to ignore, and I shouldn’t try. All the other pressures aren’t to be dismissed, but I need Your help to keep looking to Jesus over and above it all. (Hebrews 12:2) May I be Your agent every moment of today, not striving in my own strength – which is no strength at all – but allowing Your Spirit to carry me along and flow through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!