Joyful in Hope and Service

Written by Desiree Visser

Praise be to God for His unfailing love, incomparable grace, and His mercies that are new every morning. We are in daily need of these things to accomplish the Will of God here on earth – and God provides them!

The Church was not created to passively receive and store these things, but rather to function effectively and tirelessly as a body in obedience to the Head, Jesus Christ. Yet sometimes we become ensnared in our thinking regarding our service and ministry and this leads to difficulties.

Have you ever had a proud feeling for being obedient to the Lord? Ever do something for the Kingdom of God, and felt like a “good Christian”? Many have fallen into that trap of wanting some of the glory that truly belongs to the Lord.

Maybe you have been discouraged in your ministry? Feeling like you are working hard and not being rewarded or noticed for your efforts? Yes, many are trapped into discouragement and hopelessness by thinking they should receive and see the reward of their service. Our need for reassurance that we are doing a good job or are good enough causes us to stumble and lose hope in the work we are doing for the Lord if the reward is not quick in coming.

Paul shares some insight into this in 2 Corinthians 4: 1 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” Paul considered God merciful for allowing him to share the ministry of the new covenant. He did not see his ministry as something he had earned or could take any credit for. Paul’s humility is seen in how he did not take the successes or the struggles as a sign of how “good” he was. He set his hope on God and not on how others perceived him or his own ability to proclaim the gospel (2 Corinthians 1:10 “On Him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers.”).

The answer to both pride and discouragement in our ministries is therefore turning to the Lord. First in repentance and humility, and then to receive the joy, hope, mercy, endurance and faith that we need to be good stewards.

Hebrews 11 describes how many great men of faith did not live to see what God had promised and yet they pleased God with their faith. Let us continue to remember and apply the following in our lives:

Romans 12:11 – 12 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”.

May God fill your hearts with joy as you continue to serve Him.
May zeal for God’s house cause you to serve the Lord faithfully and joyfully.


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