Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)
The book of Joshua begins with an announcement,
“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:2 NKJV).
After a long, illustrious life, Moses died at 120 years old. His last job had been leader of Israel. He had approached Pharaoh about freeing them while they had been slaves in Egypt and had been God’s instrument in their deliverance. For 40 years, Moses had shepherded the Israelites through the wilderness.
After 40 years, the Israelites were finally ready for God to give them the land. But their leader Moses was dead and the children of Israel had to look to a new leader. The work didn’t stop because Moses died. No, the land had to be conquered and the Canaanites driven out.
For many of us, 2020 was a difficult year and so far, 2021 has signs that it will also be challenging. It’s easy for us to stop moving towards accomplishing our goals or living up to the purpose that God has created us for. It’s easy to wait for the day when we have more energy or feel well enough.
If your purpose is creative, you may want to wait for the elusive muse, the one who will make the ideas flow and the creative process easier. Unfortunately, the time we spend not accomplishing our goals cannot be regained.
Can you imagine what would have happened to the Israelites if, after Moses had died, they had thrown up their hands in despair and said, “Well, that’s it. We won’t get to the Promised Land now.” They would have spent the rest of their lives wandering in the desert instead of partaking of the bounty that God had prepared for them.
My friend, I know how tempting it is to do nothing. Life is chock-full of responsibilities and the last thing we want is one more task. But if God calls you to it, He wants it to be done and He wants it to be done by you.
Let me encourage you as God encouraged Joshua,
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9 NKJV).
If I were to convey the sentiment of those verses to you I’d say,
- Be encouraged. Sometimes you may have to encourage yourself.
- Remain resolute (determined) in your purpose. You won’t always be able to convince the people around you to support your mission.
- Don’t be discouraged. As hard as this thing may be to accomplish, it will be worth it in the end. Maybe not on this side of heaven, but God rewards those who remain faithful to the end (James 1:12).
- Don’t get distracted. The enemy is great at distracting us from our purpose, don’t let him win. Remember to focus on God as you trust Him to help you accomplish your goals.
- God is with you and He will never leave you alone. It may feel as though you’re doing it by yourself. You’re not. God has promised to be with you and He always keeps His promises.
My friend, regardless of what’s happening in your life, the work must go on. I say that not to discourage you or to make you feel ashamed or overwhelmed, but to remind you that you have a God-given purpose. If necessary, take a break to rest and rejuvenate.
- Read your Bible.
- Spend time with godly people who can build you up.
- Do something you enjoy–just for fun.
Your health is important to God. But don’t stay out of the game so long that you forget your purpose. After you have rested, get up. Dust off your dreams. Remember your purpose. Press on. Keep the faith. Don’t give up.
Father, we’re thankful that You never leave us alone. We are grateful for the purpose You have given us. Thank You for patiently allowing us to process the difficulties we are experiencing but remind us Lord, that while things are difficult now, we still have a purpose to fulfill.
Give us the resources we need to fulfill the task you’ve given us, and where necessary, send people to walk alongside us as we strive to complete Your assignment. We thank You for hearing our prayer, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Other actions you can take: