Just keep on keeping on

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV).

A group of us were riding in a van, returning from a day’s visit to one of the village churches in Bangladesh. It had been raining all day, and in the early hours of darkness the rain had gotten harder, and water was beginning to rise.

We drove into a low section of road with standing water, and as it began to grow deeper we caught up to slower traffic ahead of us. Our driver, aware that water was above the tail pipe on the van and that we were in danger of having the engine choked down, stranding us, passed the other vehicles and drove as quickly as possible until we were through the water.

I was concerned that, without traffic ahead of us to mark the way, we might get off of the pavement and get stuck, or worse, go into deep water beside the road – a ditch or a pond. But we had little choice. One option that we did not want was to be stranded in the road, at night, waiting for the rain to stop and the waters to recede.

Sometimes life is like that. You can’t stay where you are, but the way is not clear ahead either. The only wise choice is to continue as cautiously as possible. There may be more trouble ahead, but trouble is certain if you stop.

The Bible often encourages us to be patient. This quality is often misunderstood. In the Bible it rarely means just waiting for something to happen without complaining. Most often patience is endurance or persistence. So James wrote, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. . . . Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:7, 11).

It is persistence in good works that is especially encouraged (Galatians 6:9). Sometimes the things we do seem to go unappreciated, even unnoticed. We try to live right and help others. We visit and encourage the sick, give to the poor, even show mercy to those who wrong us, but no one seems to care. The world mocks our faith. Even other Christians may criticize our methods or the amount of our efforts. It is easy at such times to say, “What is the use? What good am I doing?”

But the Spirit calls, “Don’t grow weary.” For those who do not lose heart – that is, are not discouraged – there will come a time of reaping. No one else may know what we have done, but God does. He sees all, and he cares. The time is coming when all will be made right.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

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