Never In Vain
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
I Corinthians 15:58
Your mind, your eyes and even your heart (feelings) may tell you otherwise, but keep your eye on the One Who promised.
“Not in vain in the Lord.”
What does that phrase mean to you, Pilgrim? When all that meets your eye is darkness and every door you knock on is closed, is this promise still true? When your loved ones turn their back on you. . .and others falsely accuse you. . .and someone promises to remember you, but soon forgets. . .as they did Joseph. . .will you, like him, whisper “My labor/faith is not in vain in the Lord”?
The refiner’s fires grow quite hot at times. And the lonesome valleys are quite dark and deep. But, it’s in those times that we, like Job, must say “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15a). Or, like David, when we find ourselves in “the valley of the shadow of death”—where all of our dreams have been dashed on the hard rocks of reality and no one walks with us—can we still say “I will fear no evil—for You are with me” (Ps. 23:4a)?
Faith is not feeling; neither is it wishful thinking or positive thoughts.
It is simple, steadfast trust in the One Who cannot/will not lie (Heb. 6:18a), confident that He will see you through the worst day of your life and deliver you one way or the other (Dan. 3:16-18; I Cor. 10:13).
This is not false bravado or spiritual “whistling in the dark;” instead, it is calm assurance that the One Who promised is “a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6b). He may not come when we expect Him or swoop to our rescue like the cavalry in times of old.
But He will come.
And, He’ll always be on-time with just what we need when we need it.
That’s why we must “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” even during those dry times when no clouds on the horizon we see. The time will come when we, like Elijah, will hear “the sound of the abundance of rain” (I Kings 18:41); or, like David, we’ll hear “the sound of God’s goings in the top of the mulberry trees” (II Sam. 5:24).
So, do not fear or fret, weary one, when it looks like everything you touch is withering and wasting away. The time will come when He sends “the latter rain” (Joel 2:23; Zech. 10:1; James 5:7) and “the lame man will leap as a hart, the tongue of the dumb shall sing, waters will break forth in the wilderness, filling the desert with streams” (Is. 35:6).
Truly, faith is “seeing that which is not and calling it so” (Heb. 11:1). Your “outward man may be wasting away right before your eyes, but your inward man will be renewed day-by-day as you look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, which are eternal” (II Cor. 4:16-18). Keep on “fighting the good fight. . .running the race. . .and keeping the faith” (II Tim. 4:7). The Finish Line’s in sight. And Victory is assured.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 19, 2009