Lately, I’ve been thinking long and hard about my purpose according to God’s will for my life. There are days when it seems crystal clear, when I’m certain of my spiritual gifts, feel confident and appear to be making great strides and progress. Then there are those days when confusion clouds my vision, I’m distracted, and suddenly wondering if I misinterpreted what God was saying to me. We are constantly engaged in an ongoing spiritual battle that can cause us to be weary, discouraged, and hopeless, but remember satan is a liar! God is our truth and light. If we remain focused on him our hopelessness will transform into hopefulness. When satan is on attack, we can’t fight him on our own we must prepare for battle by turning to God in prayer, studying the Scriptures, and wearing our spiritual armor.
Not long ago I was having one of those days. Satan was kicking at my door and I felt myself caving into procrastination and despair, so I turned to the scriptures. I began reading…
…1 Thessalonians1:3; “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I had an ‘aha’ moment, it was as if Paul was writing directly to me instead of the Thessalonians. In this short, but rich verse, I discovered three key elements to inspire me along my journey. They are faith, love, and endurance. Let’s examine how they affect our work for the Lord.
“Your work produced by faith.”
Our faith in the Lord is what pushes us toward our purpose. We have faith that God has started a work in us that He will finish. We have faith in His promise. As his children we believe without seeing because we know that through God all things are possible. Whatever it is you are attempting to accomplish that’s within God’s will, He can make it happen, but your faith must be rooted in Him. In James, the Scriptures tell us we must believe in God and not doubt or be double minded. Don’t place your confidence in the flesh instead put it in the spirit. Our work will come to fruition when we do not waver in our faith and surrender to Him completely.
“Your labor prompted by love.”
You must love what you’re pursing. Without love you lack passion. When I think about how the disciples and followers of Christ were persecuted, it is obvious that their love for Him was so great that no cost was too high. Their devotion was a labor of love. When we’re pursuing our purpose its’ important that we pray about it and listen closely to God. If we aren’t aligned with His will our work can’t be fulfilling, and therefore the love will be missing. When we’re following the path God laid out for us, our labor is a joy. I’m not insinuating it will be an easy road, but when we hit obstacles we aren’t knocked out for the count. We can get back up because our love for God and His desire for us is much greater than the bumps and bruises we suffer.
“Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Personally, I struggle with endurance. I start off strong, but start floundering somewhere in the middle. Paul wrote often about perseverance and endurance. He knew by looking forward, forgetting what was behind, and keeping his eyes on God that his heavenly reward awaited him. If we hope to be successful in pursuing our purpose we should take Paul’s advice in consideration. If we can’t endure than we can’t finish the good work. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to quit, if you quit you can’t fail, but in reality you do, you fail God. In this chaotic world we have the promise of hope and it lies in Jesus Christ, our Savior. There is no greater hope than that. The hope we have in Him is inspiring and enables us to withstand satan’s attacks. It gives us a glimmer of light when the road is dark, and encourages us to endure hardships knowing God is with us every step of the way. Any work you’ll ever pursue for God will demand that you run the race of endurance and perseverance.
Each one of us are blessed with spiritual gifts, graciously bestowed upon us by our Creator. What we decide to do with those gifts is up to us. We can either forge forward with God’s work with faith, love, and endurance or we can simply ignore our calling and disobey Him. If we desire to live a life truly pleasing to God we will glorify His name through our works, regardless of the cost because the reward is great on earth and in Heaven.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved