Not In Vain
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 NKJV
As we say goodbye to the year 2020, just know that God is still speaking and working in the lives of His people. This has been a year of fighting many battles, and some are probably weary, worn, and tired fighting the good fight of faith—sometimes fighting the same battles over and over—whether it was marriage and family; or some other relationship; work and business; church and ministry; finances and health; and, of course, covid-19 which has caused so much fatigue with exponential infections, hospitalizations and deaths, This year brought many overwhelming and difficult circumstances. So, what is God saying in the face of these challenges: “don’t give up, continue the fight. Your work of faith and labor is not in vain.”
Through the power of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3), this year hasn’t been in vain because God has given us the victory. In the face of difficult situations, you may not feel successful, but you do have the victory. It is easy to feel that this year has been in vain if you confuse success with victory. Success is achieving a favorable outcome or desire; but on the other hand, victory is the overcoming of an enemy. Through Christ, we have overcome the sting of death and any other enemy (Text). We have the victory—period!
There is victory in Jesus; thus, Apostle Paul admonishes us to “be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (Text). So what does all of this mean? To be steadfast is to continue to be seated and settled in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6); to be unmovable is to be unalarmed and undeterred regardless of the circumstance—to be planted like a tree by the rivers of water (Psalm 1:3; Acts 20:22-24), and always abounding in the work is to be engaged in doing the will of God, giving Him glory, and advancing his kingdom (Col. 2:7). Our living, giving, praying, and other commitments and disciplines in the Lord are never in vain!
Never cease “your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father” (1 Thess. 1:3). Because of the resurrection, we have the victory; therefore, nothing we do is in vain. So, don’t stop doing good because you don’t see immediate results; don’t get discouraged (Gal. 6:9); just keep on keeping on, being steadfast, unmovable; always abounding in the work of the Lord!