The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.
[1st Corinthians 15:56-58]
I don't know about you, but I definitely go through times (sometimes moments, sometimes days or weeks or months) where I want to give-up, where everything seems to fall apart. When it seems like my tires spin in the mud, or I take three steps back for every two forward, or the mountain is just too high to climb, or I'm caught on a traffic circle with no exit, or... well, you can surely relate, just pick your metaphor for how you feel.
It's in these times that I find it most helpful to do a little reflection and self-evaluation. I ask questions of myself such as: what is my end goal for this effort? Am I over-valuing the output of my work and undervaluing the effort? Am I being lazy? Am I expecting too much of others and not enough of myself (or vice-versa)? However, the most important question of all is: for whom am I laboring?
The answer, of course, needs to unequivocally be "My Master, the Creator of universe, and His Son Jesus." When I can re-orient my intentions and efforts to be for Him, I find great solace in the passage from 1st Corinthians 15. What a promise: when my efforts are "in the Lord," when they are focused on Him and His kingdom and His glory, they will not be in vain! The Amplified Bible describes it as never "futile," "wasted" or "without purpose."
This week, as we feel stuck in discouragement or desperation, let's reorient our efforts towards the Lord.