Saturday, April 4, 2015

Worth It All

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:56-58

In thinking this past week about the last week of Christ's life on earth, I have been refreshed and reminded of important truths.  I thought about the hope that He has given us to carry on with our labors, even in what seems like mundane tasks, because we do not merely live for this world!

The suffering, the mocking, the scorn and shame that Christ endured on the cross was certainly not in vain, and because He broke the chains of death and came back to life in victory, neither is the work we do when it is done in His Name.  Nothing we do for Him is wasted!  No meal cooked, no lesson planned, no discipline administered, no hug given, no words of grace spoken, no forgiveness granted, no tiny shirts folded - nothing done in the name of our Lord is done in vain because we look towards eternity!  But sometimes the battle rages within my flesh. 

It seems in vain when I start thinking that I should receive recognition for my efforts.  

It seems in vain when I feel like I have worked so hard and I am not seeing any fruit.  

It seems in vain when I worry that I am not doing enough.  

It seems in vain when I wear myself out trying to achieve what only God can do.  

It seems in vain when I am focused on myself.

Because of the temporal nature of our world, we must look beyond and trust in the sovereign hand of God in all of our labors.  When I remember the resurrection of Christ, how He overcame death and sin...

...I don't grow weary and feel unappreciated, because I am not working to make a name for myself, but rather I am lifting up His name.  

...I don't need to see immediate fruit, because I can rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit is working in ways that I don't always see.  

...I don't have to worry about not doing enough, because Christ's atonement and resurrection is sufficient.  It is finished, and I can trust Him. 

...And I don't have to wear myself out trying to do what only God can do, because God is sovereign, and He alone can change hearts.  

Rather, I can be faithful in showing the grace of the gospel to my children, serving my husband with a genuine attitude of love, and remembering that I am in desperate need of His mercy every day.  At this point in time, I am not being faced with death because of my Christian beliefs.  But if or when that day comes, it changes nothing.  I pray that on that day, I will remember how our Lord defeated death, and that I will know that it is all worth it.  Christ has finished the work and God is completely trustworthy to do what He will for His good pleasure, for His glory and for our ultimate good.  He is worthy, and He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!