- Text: Gal. 6:9.
- Why do you serve God? For the short-term temporal benefits you may receive . . . or is more involved?
- Job was accused of serving God for what he could get out of it at the present moment.
- Satan asked, "Does Job fear God for no reason?" (Job 1:9).
- But God knew Job would be faithful whether it was to Job's advantage in the short term or not. Cf. Job 1:1-2:10.
- It is true that righteousness will be rewarded -- but the primary reward comes to us when this life is over.
- If we are to "not grow weary of doing good" (Gal. 6:9), there are at least three things we must do.
I. We Must Learn Patience
- The quality of character that Job is known for is the one we need.
- Patience = the ability to endure, hold out, bear up, persevere.
- The patient person takes the long view -- e.g. the stock market investor.
- Job was blessed for his endurance - Jas. 5:10,11.
- When the nighttime closes in, we must not forget assurances the Lord has given us in the daytime!
- Patience is one of the great biblical virtues - Heb. 6:11,12. Cf. Mt. 24:13; Heb. 10:35,36.
- Jesus said, "By your patience possess your souls" (Lk. 21:19 NKJV). "By your endurance you will gain your lives" (ESV).
II. We Must See Ourselves As Farmers
- Those who work with living, growing things often know the most about patience and trust.
- Patience: Farmers get their reward only at the harvest, so they must wait for long-term results.
- The farmer gives and gives -- getting nothing in return -- until the harvest.
- Imagine a farmer who resented his "ungrateful" fields because he worked and worked for them, and they never gave anything to him . . . until the whole growing season was over.
- Cf. Jas. 5:7,8.
- Trust: Farmers must be willing to trust the growing process that has proven itself in the past.
- The farmer must not lose confidence in agricultural principles that have proven their trustworthiness.
- Imagine a farmer who, long before the harvest, got worried that the laws of nature might not work this year.
- Cf. Gal 6:7-9.
- We need to "cultivate" both the patience and the trust of the farmer.
III. We Must Take the Long View
- Do you take a long-term view of God's blessings, the rewards of righteousness?
- In the short term, doing what is right may not always "work" or be "effective" by our standards of judgment.
- Solomon observed that in this life the race is not always to the swift - Eccl. 9:11.
- We must not to take an accusing attitude toward God for His seeming indifference to our problems.
- "See, Lord, I tried Your way. And just as I expected, it didn't work! My problems are just as bad as they were, maybe worse. Trying to do the right thing has gotten me nothing but trouble."
- This response to God is similar to that of Moses - Exo. 5:22,23.
- If we do not have the patience to wait until the end of the story has been written, we ought not to draw premature conclusions about whether doing God's will "pays."
- We must cultivate confidence in God's:
- Grace - 2 Cor. 12:9.
- Faithfulness - Heb. 10:23.
- Our main emphasis must be on the end of the story - Heb. 12:1,2. Cf. Phil. 3:13,14; Col. 3:23,24.
- Heaven is worth whatever hardships we may endure in the short term - 2 Cor. 4:17. Cf. Rom. 8:18; Phil. 3:7-11.
- If Satan were allowed to take away, one by one, the temporal blessings God has allowed you to have, how many would have to be taken away before you quit serving God?
- What does God have to give you in this life to keep you on His side? Is heaven blessing enough?
- "Though He slay me, I will hope in him" (Job 13:15).
- "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25,26).
- God can deliver us from hardship -- but even if He does not, it is still worth it to serve Him. Cf. Dan. 3:16-18.
- To Smyrna, Christ said, "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).
- To Thyatira, Christ said, "The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations" (Rev. 2:26).
- "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 Cor. 15:58).
- "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9).
Gary Henry - WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com