and let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. [galatians 6:9]
what are you laboring for?
are you working to get results, or are you working for the Lord?
what then is apollos? what is paul? servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. i planted, apollos watered, but God gave the growth. so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. he who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. for we are God’s fellow workers. you are God’s field, God’s building. [1 corinthians 3:5-9]
the fruits of our labor are not the wages of our labor; our wages come according to our labor! we should not be surprised if we tire of doing good when we count the fruit as our reward: the fruit is up to God’s work, not ours! when it comes in bushels, we still aren’t “anything” and when it seems not to come at all, that doesn’t mean our laboring is in vain. could your love for the Lord motivate you to labor instead? the Lord determines the “due season”, and anxiously looking for that due season moves us from worship to selfish entitlement and robs us of the joy of serving.
count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.[james 1:2-3]
if our love can motivate us to labor for His sake, we will grow in steadfastness, and can rest in His peace and joy, regardless of whether it seems like our work is bearing fruit or not. and in the moments of trial, by the power of the Spirit we may even grow to count those trials as joy!
Lord, help us to labor not for the fruit, nor for our own gain. teach us to truly labor for You alone, and teach us steadfastness, that our joy may be dependent on You and not on our current circumstances.
~ stephen hall