What makes you feel weary in life? The thing about weariness, toil and fatigue is that we all feel it at one time or another in our lives. None of us are exempt! No, not one! In 1 Corinthians 15:58 God offers us hope and encouragement in those trying times, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
God does not want us to drown in the struggles and weariness of life. In Hebrews 12:1-3, He teaches us how to overcomes those things that threaten to push us off-course in our walk with Christ. Look at these points:
- Verse 1 – “Let us lay aside every weight and sin” – Let us lay aside every encumbrance; those things that weigh us down, our burdens and the sin that threatens to overtake us.
- Verse 1 – “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” – The path is already marked out – we just have to follow it!
- Verse 2 – “Looking unto Jesus” – This means that we look away from all else and fix our eyes on Christ!
- Verse 3 – “Consider Him [Jesus]” – This is our motivator. Spend some time in Ephesians 1:3-14 and consider all the God has done for us and given to us through Christ. There is so much!
- Verse 3 – This is the Why. What benefit will we gain from doing these things in verses 1-3? What benefit will we gain from considering Jesus and all that we have through Him? “So that you will not grow weary and lose heart”.
One thing that God desires us to be doing in 1 Corinthians 15:58 is “abounding in the work of the Lord”. This word “abound” is the Greek word perisseuo. It means to “exceed, go beyond the expected measure, or surpass”. It is the expected measure that we read our Bibles daily. But, how can we abound in this work of the Lord? I suggest that we do this by not just reading God’s word, but diligently studying it – by digging a little deeper! There is much spiritual gain and growth that results if we will put in the time and effort to study God’s word.
Many times we may have read verse 58, but how many times have we studied chapter 15 as a whole? In digging deeper, we begin to more clearly understand why Paul ended that section of his letter the way he did. In this portion of Paul’s letter, he addresses a topic that was causing the Christians in Corinth to feel weary. They were discouraged, worrying, and felt that there was no hope. Why? Rumors were flying around that there was no resurrection and those rumors and false teachings left them feeling that their labor for the Lord was all in vain.
Paul is going to give the Corinthians hope in their weariness. He does this by giving them proof from God’s Word (in contrast to the rumors and hearsay) that their labor for the Lord was not in vain.
Why was their labor not in vain in the Lord?
- Because God’s Word can be trusted (vs. 1-4, 11-12). What was being preached about the resurrection came from Jesus Christ himself.
- Because God’s Word is provable (vs. 3-8). Paul tells of all those who were witnesses to Christ’s resurrection, including himself!
- Because God’s Word is reasonable (vs. 13-19). In this section he uses if/then logic…almost in reverse…to reveal to them that their trust in God was not misplaced, that the resurrection of Christ did take place, and they are not without hope for the future!
When we are staring our personal trials, struggles, weariness, and sin in the face it may seem as though this section of scripture has no bearing on our lives. After all, we already believe in the resurrection. But, if we stop to really think about it, to focus on the reasons that the Corinthian’s labor for the Lord was not in vain, we realize those very same principles apply to us today. We too must look to God’s Word for strength. If we are keeping our eyes on Jesus and abounding in our work for Christ and His church, then our labor is not in vain in the Lord. So then, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”!
-Cindy Baker, Foristell, MO, TBC’s Ladies’ Class speaker at 40th Annual Spiritual Renewal Lectureship