Struggle, Then Victory

READ : 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

In the Lord your labor is not in vain. (v. 58)

Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, “We acknowledge a king men did not crown and cannot
dethrone.” It’s easy to lose this vision. When we become discouraged in our service to
Christ, it helps to remember God is the divine subversive (Eugene Peterson’s term). Most
of God’s work doesn’t appear on the human radar screen. It doesn’t make the evening news.
Just as the seeds a farmer plants are hidden in the earth until the outburst of spring, we
trust the ongoing, concealed work of God until the day of harvest arrives.

The media makes it appear the enemy is winning. But Paul reminds, “we fix our eyes not
on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen
is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV). We’re called to hold, in faith, a vision of the reigning,
yet veiled, eternal Christ.

We and our work have no “abiding city” here. In faith we await the day when both we and
our work done for Christ will be ushered into the eternal city “whose designer and builder
is God” (Heb. 11:10), when death is swallowed up in victory.

The lesson Paul draws from the certainty of our future victory is that our faith needs
to be put into action now. Lend your energies to being steadfast, unswerving, immovable,
resolute, “always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor
is not in vain” (v. 58). It’s a challenge that will be worth the struggle.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, spur us into action while the opportunity is ours.