Isaiah 15,16,17,18; Hebrews 10
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:38-39)
Doing the will of God does not always come catered with peaches and cream for dessert. It might instead, arrive with a generous helping of persecution or broken expectations. It might come wrapped in struggle paper with a side of a let-down. But when that happens, it doesn't mean that God's promises have been thwarted. The writer of Hebrews charges us to stay the course. We get duped into thinking that if we serve God, then everything will be absent of problems, and blessings should come catered on a daily basis. Dream on.
That is why Hebrews tells us that when we do the will of God, keep enduring and persevere. There will be times that obedience will be attended by the absence of feelings. But the righteous will live by faith ... not always by feeling. Our tendency is to shrink back. Oh, it may not be your tendency, but it sure is mine. I can get battle-weary and combat fatigued, and when that happens, (and I think this goes for all of us) we want to shrink back ... shrink back from our calling, our responsibility, and our ministries.
I need to remember that it is okay to get a break from the rigor, but not from the calling; from the pain but not the calling; from the tiredness but not from the assignment that God has given us. What must be my reward is that I have obeyed, not that I got results. How often we live only by results, and if a little bit of disobedience gives us the results we are looking for, then we cut corners. My joy must not be found in results, but in knowing that God is taking delight in me. Then, and only then, will I one day, received what was promised.
Dear Father, thank You for reminding me today that it is in obedience that my reward is to be found, not in results. Sometimes, results can be delayed, and if I am drawing my joy from results alone, I will shrink back and never received what could have been just around the corner.