We should put away our predictions and go ahead and do the best we’re capable of doing at the moment. We must be guided by conscience and the knowledge that it always “does good to do good” — whether we can see how it’s going to happen or not.
Quit worrying and quit trying to figure out what is going to happen in the future. The future is God’s business, and it doesn’t matter very much to us. Our work is doing the simple daily duties that lie clearly before us, come what may.
If nothing else produces patience in our dealings with others, we at least ought to be moved by our Lord’s patience with us. Since He has put up with us for so long, how can we be so short-tempered and unkind to others?
Difficulty, properly dealt with, increases the satisfaction we feel when the hardship has been overcome. So for those bound for heaven, difficulty doesn’t do anything but guarantee that rest from their labors is going to be that much sweeter.
If it is honorable to suffer for a cause, it is even more so for a person. And when the person is none other than our Savior, no suffering is too great to be anything less than a privilege. We can be thankful we’re counted worthy of such an honor.
The hardness of our sojourn encourages us to repent of our sins. For most of us, repentance is not a one-time occurrence; it is a process. By a sequence of events, God is teaching us repentance, and the process can’t be rushed.
Paul spoke of the Thessalonians’ work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope. When our work is based on our trust in God’s faithfulness and our labor grows out of a love that is pure and strong, our hope will produce an amazing steadfastness.
Despair doesn’t have to lead to defeat. If we choose, we can stay the course. Indeed, there is no finer courage than that of the soldier who sees no hope of getting off the battlefield alive but fights on because the cause is just.
Paul urged Timothy to preach the word “in season and out of season.” The same goes for discipleship in general. We need to be faithful all of the time. After all, if the Lord can count on us only when His work is easy, what kind of service is that?
Who among us has not passed through something like Job’s darkness, a time when God is silent and not even one other person is willing to say anything but a discouraging word? The dead of the night is a hard time to endure.