Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Ongoing Challenge of Well Doing

Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.  –II Thessalonians 3:12, 13 (KJV)

I have joked before about how if I didn’t have to sleep I could get more accomplished.  The problem is we all have to sleep, for this is how the Lord created us.  We may view this as a problem when it is in fact an asset.  Sleep refreshes us and allows our minds and bodies time to rest.  When we are in need of rest, we certainly know it, for we feel fatigue which only rest and sleep will remedy.  The Word of God speaks of being weary, which refers also to desiring to cease from a certain practice or habit.  God’s Word challenges us not to grow weary of well doing.  We are never to allow ourselves to grow tired of doing what is right and honorable before God.  The problem comes with keeping this up over the long haul of life.

Life can be extremely tiring as is the ongoing challenge of always seeking to do what is right before God.  If we are honest, we will admit that we sometimes struggle with always doing what is right.  This is because doing God’s will, walking the straight and narrow path Jesus described, and being a person of integrity requires tremendous energy.  The strength needed to continue such an upright pursuit of life does not happen in our strength.  Instead, such a noble life comes through the resources of prayer, God’s Word, and faith in Christ.  Apart from these vital resources, we will soon become weary with striving to be Christ-like in all areas of life.  Paul the Apostle spoke of serving the Lord, doing His will, and going about our daily lives with “quietness.”  Do you ever feel you could use more quiet time in your life?

I sometimes here people speak of needing to get away from the hectic pace of their daily routines.  I am sympathetic to this because I too need time away now and then.  Here is where we find the benefit of daily prayer and meditation on God’s Word.  Just as sleep refreshes our physical bodies, prayer and the Word of God refresh our spirits.  We are then empowered to continue serving the Lord with energy, which comes from the Holy Spirit and not ourselves.  Along with my daily prayer time I have an additional strategy for spiritual growth.  There is a stretch of woods behind our house, and once or twice a week I take a walk into those woods for a brief time of quiet reflection.  The landowner has cleared an area of the forest and has left behind several logs, one of which I use for a seat.  This is my place to find brief periods of quietness and reflection.  I hear the birds singing, I feel the sun on my face, I talk with God, and He listens.  I always return ready to continue the ongoing task of well doing.

My friends, do not cease from well doing.  The world desperately needs your Christ-like witness and faith.  Resist the temptation to believe you are not making a difference, for you indeed are.  Make prayer and time in the Word a priority.  God will give you energy to go forward in faith.

God bless you today.