Why We Should Be Steadfast

Ever feel like giving up?

You put your check in the offering basket month after month, and after years, you still struggle to make ends meet. You share the gospel with your child for decades and have yet to see her trust Christ for salvation.  You pray for your friend to be healed for years, then he goes to be with the Lord. You spend dozens of hours counseling a couple struggling in their marriage, only to see them divorce.

I know pastors who’ve preached the gospel for years yet see little church growth.  And small group leaders who’ve regularly prepared for meetings, opened their homes, and gotten together with those they serve, only to see their groups dwindle.  I know believers who have adopted only to experience rejection and pain from the child they took in.

Sometimes we feel like, “What’s the point?  Why am I doing this?  Why keep praying?  Why keep reaching out to this person? Why keep serving?  Nothing’s happening.”

Yet God tells us:

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 CO 15.58)

The word “therefore” connects this verse to what Paul shared previously, namely, the doctrine of the resurrection.  Paul says since Christ has been raised, we’ll be raised with him to enjoy the fruit of our labors for eternity.  “Therefore” nothing we do for Christ is in vain.  We’ll be rewarded – not here but in heaven.

If there were no resurrection all Paul suffered for the gospel would have been pointless:

Why are we in danger every hour? …I die every day!  What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  (1 Corinthians 15:30-32)

In other words, if there’s no resurrection, why am I doing this?  Why should I expose myself to danger for the gospel?  Why fight beasts in Ephesus?  If there’s no resurrection, eat, drink and be merry.  Live for today.

But there will be a resurrection, so none of our work in Christ is in vain.  Every prayer, counseling session, act of mercy, no matter what the visible results are here, will be rewarded.

You will be raised imperishable in Christ, so all you do for Jesus has eternal significance.  That’s the point. That’s why you should be steadfast and immovable.  That’s why you shouldn’t throw in the towel.  Keep abounding in the Lord’s work.

photo by Jeremy Brooks

  • http://pollywogcreek.blogspot.com Patricia

    Wow. Been feeling quite weary and defeated today. I really needed this encouragement. Thank you.

    • MarkAltrogge

      You're welcome, Patricia, I'm grateful you were encouraged.

  • Barb Brumfield

    This is so good and went well with the message that Joe Lechner gave at Crossway in Charlotte yesterday. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Mark Altrogge

      You’re welcome, Barb. And thank you.

  • http://www.worshipfulreader.blogspot.com Ron Reffett

    Great stuff Mark and again so very timely! I don't know how many times that I have logged on here and the Lord has used your posts again and again to encourage and comfort, thanks!
    So many times we only see the temporary and sometimes the temporary stinks..really bad! but the encouragement is that this is not it, we have eternity to look forward where there won't be any disappointments or tragedies or "failures" and we'll see how all of those seemingly unending trials were used by the Lord to shape us more and more into the image of His Son. All for His glory!
    Blessings
    Ron Reffett

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks Ron!

      Well put…we must always remember the final goal: to be shaped into the image of his Son. Amen!

  • Caroline

    On the same lines with Ron, ur posts are so timely:) I am in between jobs right now and I really cannot make sense of things. But just to know that these trials are designed to make us more like Him. The only comfort for me is that even though sometimes i cant make sense of things, God is all wise and He knows perfectly what He is doing and He is sovereign over every single detail of everything :) Thanks Again

  • http://www.jeritanner.blogspot.com Jeri Tanner

    Yes, this was a good one.

  • Mark Altrogge

    I agree Caroline, Ron has excellent insights.

    Thanks Jeri.