We pray. We worship. We read the Bible. We love Jesus. We walk in obedience. We pick up our cross and follow Him. And yet, we still experience disappointment. Somehow things didn’t turn out as we had hoped. “But God, I did all the things!”
My word for you today is, KEEP DOING ALL THE THINGS. Keep praying. Keep worshipping. Keep reading the Bible. Keep loving Jesus. Keep walking in obedience. Hold on to that cross. Keep following Him. Because our best efforts are not for us. They are for Christ alone. He is the great reward that makes everything else we’re working for pale in comparison. He’s promised us treasures in heaven, but we don’t do all the things for a reward, or else we wouldn’t quite be doing all the things with our hearts intact.
Sometimes, what God does through us isn’t necessarily for us. Someone else may receive the blessings of our efforts. And that too, is wonderful! Our obedience may serve as a beacon for even a perfect stranger to look up to the Almighty. The work of our hands may be entirely to someone else’s benefit. God’s plan is bigger and it extends far beyond us as individuals. We praise Him because we’re included in His plan and His Kingdom and we do all the things to that end, not for our personal goals.
The early Christians understood this as they faced imprisonment, beatings, beheadings and crucifixions for their obedience. Compare that with our disappointments. They knew that there would ultimately be a reward, maybe not here on earth, but they trusted in the fact that our God is faithful.
Hebrews 11 speaks of those who did all the things and saw none of God’s promises come to fruition in their lifetimes.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. Hebrews 11:13
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
They did all the things for their God and for future generations of believers – for us!
There will always be blessings from living according to God’s plan, even if we don’t see them here on earth in our lifetimes. So we’ll keep doing all the things, and doing them with joy and gratitude in our hearts because He is so good and so faithful. We will wear our disappointments as badges of honor because we know that we endure for the ultimate prize – Jesus.