As a college student, I had a summer job that was funded by a grant. My assigned tasks did fill a need, but I didn’t have enough work to fill the required hours; almost every day I had to search for something more to do until the clock released me to leave the office. Later in life, I held a job that was often overwhelming simply because there was too much to do in each day. I worked long hours, many times gulping down lunch at my desk.
I much prefer the second kind of job, even though it was more stressful. At the second job, I knew that everything I did counted for something.
Let this promise today inject you with just a few more ounces of energy:
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
How can we give up if we have a promise like this?
Doesn’t it make a difference to know that everything—everything—we do for the Lord is important? We are not just putting in our time, going through the motions of discipleship. Everything we do for Him matters in His Kingdom!
One of Satan’s most effective strategies to derail our discipleship is to convince us that what we are doing has no or very little importance. Or perhaps he whispers other lies to you: “You’re not qualified to do this; someone else could do this better.” and “This is making no difference. What you do has had no effect. All your effort has meant nothing. Might as well give it up.” and “You’re not making any progress at all. Are you sure this is the right road?”
My dear brothers and sisters, stand strong and immovable against the lies! If the Spirit is producing fruit in your life, if He moves you to do anything, no matter how small it might seem (remember the cup of cold water?), do not give up, because nothing you do for the Lord is useless.
The hope held in this verse grows even fuller when we look at its context. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul has just written long paragraphs about the promise of the resurrection of our bodies and the certainty that we will live forever. He ends it by saying, “So don’t give up. Stand strong. Whatever we do for the Lord is very important.” Apparently the effects of what we do here on earth will not be limited to this hour, this day, or the length of our earthly lives. What we do for the Lord has effects that reach into eternity.
This hope is our encouragement to be strong and to stand immovable. There will always be the low valleys of discouragement, and sometimes we even fall into the pit for a time. But we have a hope that keeps us going. Paul writes in another letter that we can be sure we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9).
This is our hope, even when we’re tired and discouraged: nothing we do for our Lord is ever useless. This promise picks us up again and again, to stand, strong and immovable.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
MORE encouragement: Psalm 13; Psalm 31:2-7; Psalm 37:34; Psalm 40:1-3; Psalm 42:5-8; Psalm 77:1-15; Psalm 90:14; Psalm 119:49, 50, 81; Psalm 147:11; Isaiah 41:9, 10, 13; Lamentations 3:19-26; John 11:40; John 16:33; Romans 2:6-7; Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 7:5-6; Galatians 6:7-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:12-14; Hebrews 10:23, 32-36; Hebrews 12:10b-13; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Revelation 1:9a; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:25-28; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 14:12-13