There comes a time in our life, probably more than once, when we become frustrated or discouraged because of where we are in our life at the time. Bad circumstances and events leave us feeling discouraged, wondering where God is in all this mess, and what good could possibly come of it. Take my many years of undergrad for example; as each term past the “finish in four” goal most of us have I became more and more burnt out and down on myself. I wondered why in the world God was making me wait longer and longer before the much anticipated graduation. Everyone else was finishing up and finding jobs, why couldn’t I? I came to realize that I had been doing all of this to myself. I had procrastinated; I had continued to say yes to things that prevented me from putting my best effort into my school work. As the saying goes, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.
I think many of us live with that type of mindset. We want to do all the easy, fun things, but then we also want to be the best Christian we can be and live the life God wants us to live. I’m not saying you can never have fun, but we can’t expect to reap the ultimate reward by putting in the smallest amount of work. God expects so much more of us than that; He deserves our very best every day. In order to give our best some things may have to be let go from our lives. Certain hobbies and activities that consume much of our time may have to go. Certain people may need to be cut out and relationships with those that encourage us spiritually and bring us closer to God will need to be restored and built up. Some may think their good times are gone and nothing great will come out of giving these up. It’s going to be hard to do, believe me, but the reward is so very worth it all. The material possessions we hold onto so dearly will all be gone one day. Why put all our hard work and effort in building something up that will only be temporary? Why not put your very best into the work God has called each of one us to do? He is eternal. Heaven is eternal. Trust that God has something bigger and so much greater in store than you or I can imagine. And won’t it be wonderful to one day see that all of our hard work we put into our spiritual life and being who God called us to be will have an everlasting reward!
“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. 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”