Do you ever find yourself getting discouraged because you are doing all the right things, but nobody seems to even notice? Or maybe you are doing the right things, but there doesn’t seem to be any reward for it? I imagine that is somewhere we have all found ourselves at one point or another. For most of us, it probably hasn’t been that long since we have been in that place.
We look around and see other people who have done good deeds and, from the outside, things appear to be going great for them. Worse yet, we might even see someone who seems to be a terrible person and everything is going their way. It’s pretty frustrating, right?
When I find myself in this position, I am reminded of what Matthew writes in chapter 6 verses 1 through 4.
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Not long after I read or recite these verses, I begin to feel convicted. I have to sit down and reevaluate why I am doing the things that I am. Am I doing them so that people will notice or so that I will be rewarded down here or am I doing them because I am trying to be more like Christ?
At times it can be very frustrating when things aren’t working out the way that we hope, but we can hold on to the promise that Paul speaks about in Philippians 3:12-14.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It is that kind of mindset that will help us get through the tough times. I pray that your hope and strength will be renewed as you focus on the ultimate goal.
9 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