Losing What We Labor For

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Have you labored hard for something only to be tempted to give in because of fatigue or difficulty? No matter what you’re going through, God wants you to finish strong.

Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
 2 John 1:8 NKJV

Imagine a farmer toiling to clear his field. He works through the heat of the day to rid the soil of boulders and stumps that would hinder the harvest. Once the field is cleared, the farmer plows and tills the ground in preparation for the planting of his seed.

Once the field is planted, its owner labors to maintain the ideal conditions for the plantings to flourish by fertilizing, weeding, and watering the seed. After some time, plants emerge. The farmer’s labor continues as he protects the field from pestilence and damage.

Then, a few weeks prior to harvest, the farmer becomes weary. He gives up. All is for naught as he loses his entire crop because of his late neglect.

Or perhaps a storm threatens. He sees the warnings but neglects to respond, and the mistake costs him the harvest. What a waste of time, money, effort, and resources! The benefits of extensive labor are lost in a moment because of one wrong choice.

We can lose what we won through our labor. That is sobering! This is why Scripture repeatedly encourages us to finish well. Matthew and Mark speak of “he who endures to the end” (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13 NKJV). “We have become partakers of Christ,” says Hebrews 3:14, “if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (NKJV). In Revelation 2:26, Jesus makes a promise to “he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end” (NKJV). And the list continues.

Christianity is not a sprint but an endurance run. Therefore, it is not how we start the race that counts, but how we complete it. How we finish is determined by the choices we make all along the way.

Are you living as if you’re in this life of faith long-term? Have you labored hard for something only to be tempted to give in because of fatigue or difficulty? No matter what you’re going through, God wants you to finish strong. Keep your eyes on Him all the way to the end. As we persevere, our Father puts His hand of favor upon us and blesses our labor.

Meditate on this verse today:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)


Adapted from Honor’s Reward: How to Attract God’s Favor and Blessing (Faith Words, 2007).

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