Journal Entry // July 30, 2022
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. (ESV)1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore… because of our victory through Christ and the hoped for surety of the resurrection of Christ and those he has chosen, Paul gives us this encouragement to stand firm through all the days of life. We are not striving toward some lofty goal that may never be realized. No, the goal has already been secured and the resurrection of Christ is our perpetual sign of victory achieved. With our victory secured, we can focus our full attention on the journey toward Christ in heaven. Steadfast, immovable, always abounding – these are the pictures of a life with focused intentionality on walking faithfully and working hard for the glory of Christ. Every moment we experience is yet another opportunity to experience God’s good pleasure. Adversity, trials, struggles, persecution, and suffering are all the opportunities to live out the fruit of this verse. Our character is proven in these difficult moments. Our humility is strengthened in these trials. We better understand our dependence upon the Lord when he strips everything else away and proves to us that Jesus is all we ever really need. So take these moments and be steadfast. Don’t just bear with the difficulty and suffer through it. No, these are the times to draw close to Jesus and experience peace and joy on a spiritual level, deep within our heart and soul.
When talking about this topic, I typically hear it compared to D-day during World War 2. The turning point of the war where it was inevitable that the allies would win the war. That point of the war where the allies gained victory even though they still had long days of war and fighting to contend with to actually secure victory. As I was reflecting this morning, I realized that this is not what Paul was talking about. Paul is talking about the surety of victory because of the resurrection of Christ. I am to be steadfast and immovable because Jesus has already won and his resurrection is that holy assurance that even when everything seems to be going wrong, victory is secure. There is no room for doubt, because Christ has risen. There is no room for fear, because Christ has risen. I can abound in good works, because Christ has risen.
I know that my labor is not in vain. That is such an encouraging reminder. I am to work hard for the Lord. I am working at times among the thorns and brambles of this world, but it is not in vain. The challenge set before me seems so daunting at times. It seems as though God is silent at times. It seems as though the Lord has left me to contend among this world on my own. I know this is false. I know that the Lord is not only here beside me, but abiding within my heart. I have union with Christ. I am united with Christ. He is in me and I am in him. I may feel alone at times. I may want to isolate at times. I may want to disappear and hide. Jesus is ever present with me. His resurrection is always before me to encourage me and remind me that he is in heaven preparing a place for me. A place for me with him for all eternity. But I don’t have to wait until heaven, I can even now abound in the work of Christ and labor with confidence that Jesus will bring me safely home.
Lord Jesus, thank you that you have risen from the grave and have redeemed me from a life sold to sin. You have brought me into your family and I am now yours. I am a child of God. I am loved by my true heavenly Father. My doubts and fears just melt away when I truly understand and contemplate the purpose of all things. My circumstances are present before me and are of course challenging and difficult in the moment. Every trial is meant to be difficult. Lord, teach me to trust simply in Jesus. I am on the proper path. I am sojourning with Jesus. Give me strength Jesus. Make me steadfast and immovable as I contemplate and understand your resurrection. Keep my eyes focused on Jesus alone. He is all I need and desire. Continue to build that desire in my heart for Jesus alone.