The Apostle Paul’s practical summary and conclusion to the glorious chapter on the resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 15 calls us to work hard and endure.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:58.
A gritty, down-to-earth, and real-world conclusion, this “therefore” gets to the heart of our pilgrimage in this broken and fallen world. The proven resurrection of Jesus—glorious! The one-day return of Jesus—amazing! The long-term result of walking with Jesus—weariness!
Now weariness is certainly not the only, or most important, outcome of this journey. We anticipate, pray, and join God in work towards our transformation into Jesus’ likeness, the producing of the fruit of the Spirit, and in the advancement of His kingdom.
Yet, this endurance of the weariness which can result from our giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord certainly seems a part of the equation.
The word “labor” in the last part of this verse is used 19 times in the New Testament, not so much to highlight the actual work and exertion one does while here on earth, but rather the weariness which one experiences from that work and exertion.
It is this labor, toil, and fatigue which Paul says “is not in vain.” Why not? Because of the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of His return, we can “stand firm,” “let nothing move [us],” and “always give [ourselves] fully to the work of the Lord.”
Your work for Jesus matters, friends. Your weariness in this journey and battle is not only normal and to be expected, it is a holy endurance because it will be worth it in the end.
I’m clinging to this promise today. As we slowly emerge from the challenge and struggle of this pandemic year, and as we again live the “therefore” of our recent Easter celebrations, may we all continue to fully give ourselves to Jesus and His work.
This is my prayer for you, for our Cadence staff, and for military believers around the world.