You shall not labor in vain
Have there been times in your life when you have just looked back at everything you have done and worked for and just felt that perhaps you have labored in vain? Maybe there was a sense that it was all for nothing, and that the reward you thought would be there, that was promised to you, never came?
But I said, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” NIV
I think we all feel that way from time to time. It can be devastating. Whether we realize it or not, we all seek significance, recognition or reward for what we do. We want to know that our life has meaning and purpose, that in the grand scheme of things, it counts for something. And when expectations are not met, it is easy to feel disappointed.
Its not often easy to see or understand how God works in our lives. Sometimes the very things that we consider to have been in vain, God uses to achieve something greater – for His purpose and ours. It may look like nothing is really going on, but God says that we must not despise the day of small things (Jeremiah 4:10). And let us not be too quick to write off our labor as having been in vain because it may just take a little longer for us to see the wonder of what God is up to in our lives.
This much I know of the Lord: no life that is committed to Him is ever spent in vain. Every person is a treasured possession to Him and He has a great plan and a purpose for each one. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).
We may not always understand His ways or see the full panorama of His purpose, but we have to keep trusting the Lord and keep pressing on. We have to guard against weariness and becoming disillusioned. We have to keep from self-pity and bitterness. We have to keep building ourselves up in our most holy faith, keep holding on to the promises of God and keep going.
Our God is faithful and He is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV Hebrews 11:6).
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
He sees. He knows. And He will reward us for all our labors. Wait for it, it will come!