HARD WORK AND ITS REWARD
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” [Gal 6:9,10]
DO you not think that at times our getting lax in Christian work arises from our being very low in grace? As a rule, you cannot get out of a man that which is not in him. You cannot go forth yourself to your class and do your work vigorously if you have lost inward vigor. You cannot minister before the Lord with the unction of the Holy One if that unction is not upon you.
If you are not living near to God and in the power of God, then the power of God will not go forth through you to the children of your care; so that I think we should judge, when we become discontented and down-hearted, that we are out of sorts spiritually. Let us say to ourselves, “Come! my soul! What aileth thee? This faint heart is a sign that thou art out of health.
Go to the great Physician, and obtain from Him a tonic which shall brace thee. Come, play the man. Have none of these whims! Away with your idleness! The reaping-time will come, therefore thrust in the plow.” ‘Is not another reason why we become down-hearted to be found in the coldness and indifference of our fellow-Christians? We see others doing the Lord’s work carelessly and when we are all on fire ourselves we find them to be cold as ice: we get among people in the church who do not seem to care whether the souls of the children are saved or not, and thus we are apt to be discouraged.
The idleness of others should be an argument for our being more diligent ourselves. If our Master’s work is suffering at the hands of our fellow-servants should we not try to do twice as much ourselves to make up for their deficiencies? Ought not the laggards to be warnings to us lest we also come into the same lukewarm condition? To argue that I ought to be a sluggard because others loiter is poor logic.
Sometimes, too — I am ashamed to mention it — I have heard of teachers becoming weary from want of being appreciated. Their work has not been sufficiently noticed by the pastor, and praised by the superintendent, and sufficient notice has not been taken of them and their class by their fellow teachers.
I will not say much about this cause of faintness, because it is so small an affair that it is quite below a Christian. Appreciation! Do we expect it in this world?
The Jewish nation despised and rejected their King, and even if we were as holy as the Lord Jesus we might still fail to be rightly judged and properly esteemed. What matters it? If God accepts us we need not be dismayed, though all should pass us by.
Perhaps, however, the work itself may suggest to us a little more excuse for being weary. It is hard work to sow on the highway, and amidst the thorns — hard work to be casting good seed upon the rock year after year.
Well, if I had done so for many years, and was enabled by the Holy Ghost, I would say to myself: “I shall not give up my work because I have not yet received a recompense in it, for I perceive that in the Lord’s parable three sowings did not succeed, and yet the one piece of good ground paid for all.
Perhaps I have gone through my three unsuccessful sowings, and now is my time to enjoy my fourth, in which the seed will fall upon good ground.”
It is a pity, when you have had some years of rough work, to give all up now. Why, now you are going to enjoy the sweets of your former labor. It would be a pity, just when you have mastered your class, and prepared the way for a blessing, for you to run away from it. There is so much less of difficulty for you to overcome by as much as you have already overcome.
He who has passed so many miles of a rough voyage will not have to go over those miles again: do not let him think of going back. To go back, indeed, in this pilgrimage were shameful and as we have no armor for our back, it would be dangerous. Putting our hand to this plow and looking back will prove that we were unworthy of the kingdom. If there be a hundred reasons for giving up your work of faith, there are fifty thousand for going on with it. Though there are many arguments for fainting, there are far more arguments for persevering. Though we might be weary, and do sometimes feel so, let us wait upon the Lord and renew our strength, and we shall mount up with wings as eagles, forget our weariness, and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
We have abundant encouragement in the prospect of reward. “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not!”