A financial advisor I know describes the reality of investing money by saying, “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.” With almost every decision we make in life there is uncertainty about the outcome. Yet there is one course we can follow where no matter what happens, we know that in the end it will not be a wasted effort.
The apostle Paul spent a year with the followers of Jesus in Corinth, a city known for its moral corruption. After he left, he urged them in a follow-up letter not to be discouraged or feel that their witness for Christ was of no value. He assured them that a day is coming when the Lord will return and even death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:52–55).
Remaining true to Jesus may be difficult, discouraging, and even dangerous, but it is never pointless or wasted. As we walk with the Lord and witness to His presence and power, our lives are not in vain! We can be sure of that.
Lord, in these days of uncertainty, we hold fast to Your promise that our labor for You will accomplish Your purpose and be of great value in Your eyes.
Our life and witness for Jesus Christ are not in vain.
In the fourth century, John Chrysostom, a church leader who served in Constantinople, reflected the same expectation of the return of Christ we hold today. Imagine living in the ancient city of Constantinople. To the west, barbarian tribes threaten to attack Rome, which for centuries has been the center of the vast Roman Empire. Your city is not currently under attack, but you face the challenges people of the ancient world experienced without the assistance of modern medicine and mechanical devices to make life easier. Yet above it all, Chrysostom preaches to the people about the return of Christ. To ears who listened then, the hope of Christ’s return stirred the soul as it still does today. How does the promise of Christ’s return give you hope and encouragement in your service for Christ?