Rewards; July 23, 2022

2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

I once heard a very moving message on this passage, but the speaker focused particularly on verse two, talking about what a simple prophecy it was, but how it had motivated Asa to do great things for the Lord. That’s true enough, but I think this verse that concludes the prophecy also had a lot to do with Asa’s response. It’s interesting to note that in the Japanese of this verse, “you” and “your” are both plural; this wasn’t just to the king, but to all who would join him in seeking God as it says in verse two. We humans are very prone to go into something with enthusiasm, but then give up when it gets difficult. That’s no way to grow, and it’s no way to get the deep satisfaction that every one of us desires. That’s one of the problems with society today: children aren’t taught to hang in there and do the hard stuff. This word of encouragement is something we all need. Jeremiah, Paul, John, and the writer of Hebrews all repeated this Word from the Lord, (Jeremiah 31:16, 1 Corinthians 3:8, 2 John 1:8, Hebrews 10:35) so we’d better take it to heart! We can’t accomplish anything strictly on our own, but when we apply what God has provided for us in obedience to Him, then we will absolutely be rewarded.

As a child I learned the satisfaction of completing projects I set for myself, but I wasn’t very good at responding to external demands. School was easy for me, and I didn’t really learn how to buckle down and study until I was in college. By God’s good grace I failed two subjects my Freshman year, even though I had tied for the highest SAT score of any entering student and was in the Honors curriculum. That taught me the very valuable lesson of not being presumptive! I’m very grateful that my parents never stopped me from attempting anything because it was too difficult, (they sometimes stopped me from doing things that were too dangerous, or even illegal) but I was never forced to take on external tasks, and that’s what led to my problems in college. In serving the Lord I’ve learned that it’s the tasks He sets for me, and not ones that I dream up for myself, that bring the satisfaction, and indeed the results. Going back to this verse, it does me very little good being strong if that’s being headstrong, not listening to what God is saying. I’m at the stage of my life when I do think about rewards, and particularly eternal rewards, and I know I have nothing to worry about. I would like to see more results with my physical eyes, but even if I don’t, I’m to rejoice to see them through the eyes of faith.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I deal with students all the time who don’t know how to apply themselves, and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. I pray for them that they may learn the joy and satisfaction of working hard for something, so that they may grow to be the people You intend them to be, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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