Knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.
It’s called “work of the Lord” in the previous clause. Here it is “labor in the Lord.” What does this mean? When our efforts and service and ministry are for the Lord, our work is of the Lord. When our work is of the Lord, that labor will never be in vain. Why? Previous verse. Through Christ we have the victory.
This is exciting to consider. Since Christ has already won the victory through his death and resurrection, anything and everything we do for Him will never prove to be in vain. It cannot. Why. His victory was our victory. He won, we win. Guaranteed.
If you’re a sports-watcher (as I am), then you’ve seen this many times. In games or matches, often there comes a point when it is clear who is going to when. There is not enough to time for the other team to catch up. Reality becomes clear on the court or field. One team will be the winner and one team will be the loser. If you turn your TV on and start watching after that point, you don’t even need to know the score to tell who is the team that is going to win and who is going to lose. You can see it on their faces. You can tell by who has the energy. You can just look at their faces.
The losing team looks and acts like a team that’s going to lose. Sad faces. Glum looks. Little energy. Going through the motions. We’re not trying too hard because, what’s the point, we are going to lose… we’re the losers.
But for the other team, it is a completely different story. They are still playing but on their faces, it’s all smiles. The bench is standing and laughing and cheering. Their crowd is on their feet and high fiving. The winning side has a bounce in their step. The winning team has a joy about it even while the game is still being played. It’s not over until the fat lady sings but she is warming up. Warm up the bus. Warm up the bus. Why? It’s not done yet, but it’s obvious that we are going to win. Everything we do is contributing to a victory that is not complete but is already a done deal. We may stumble and fall. We may miss a shot. We may even be injured. But what does it matter? In the end, we are on the winning side.
Ever been to a church that forgot they are on the winning team? Ever been around Christians who seem to think the issue is still in doubt? Maybe that’s you here this morning. Christian, He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. Have you possibly forgotten which side you are on? You might have missed a spiritual shot this week. Dropped an easy fly-ball. Maybe even scored for the other team. Came to church today depressed about it. Hoping something might give you perspective. Here’s perspective. He won. We win. Therefore All things work together for the good for those who called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2011 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address(http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.