October 10, 2016

Don’t Give Up!

Galatians 6:7-10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

—  Galatians 6:9

“No good deed goes unpunished,” complained the man in the next office cubicle. He was frustrated at the lack of gratitude he perceived from fellow employees he had tried to help.

Often in life we reap the ­effects of poor decisions we have made. But sometimes, even when we have tried to do what is right and help others, life seems unfair. It can look as if carelessness and sinful behavior get rewarded, while kindness goes unnoticed (see Psalm 73).

The apostle Paul assures believers that God does pay attention. To spiritually fatigued Christians in Galatia, Paul offered a vision of the harvest. He pointed them back to the work of the Spirit, sent in Jesus’ name to grow the fruit of righteousness within them (Galatians 5:22). As with crop development, such growth does not occur all at once. But that does not mean God is not at work around us or in or through us.

When our good works go unnoticed by others, God still sees. And though it can take a long time to weed out the effects of our sinful nature, God gives us an eternal perspective on the Spirit’s work in us. Because Jesus took on the punishment for our failures, we can be sure that God will apply his goodness to us.

Are you weary of trying to do good? Don’t give up. In his time, God will provide a harvest. 

Holy Spirit, give us a vision of the fruit of Christ’s work that you are growing in us, so that we may be refreshed in sharing God’s goodness with everyone we meet. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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