Goodness Is Never In Vain

Walk in the Spirit of the Lord, seek His face, understand His commands, and desire to obey them. He will shine the light of His presence on your path that you may see. Be open to His instruction, direction, and, yes, His discipline and correction.

Discipline is the most challenging part to endure. First, be humble enough to admit your failures. Then, turn to the Lord and repent, learning the lesson the Lord has laid out for you. No one has everything right. It is a lifelong process of learning what is right.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10

Always return good for evil. It is easy to love those who love you but to be kind and compassionate to those who hate you is very difficult. It is easier to say judgmental things against them and slander their name in return for their evil. But that is not how the Lord commands His servants to act.

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you and from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:27-31

What a great opportunity to show God’s unconditional love to them. Even though they walk in darkness and sin and act wickedly toward you, you still show them the love, compassion, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

It is the very thing that will turn their heart to the Lord and away from the darkness, bringing them into the light of the Lord. The warmth might melt the coldness of their heart so that they may listen to and understand the Gospel.

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’  Acts 26:16-18

Of course, they may not listen at all. But even if they continue to harass, slander, and persecute you for the good you have done and your walk with the Lord. You did what is right and acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. He is pleased with you and will reward your good and upright behavior. Every person will receive what they have earned.

Walking with the Lord gives great peace and assurance. To do a righteous and kind act to others is truly satisfying. It gives those who do it rest. You know you are honored by the Lord because His Spirit will tell you so. There is no greater comfort than to know God is proud of your sacrifice of goodness. In God’s eyes, because of Jesus Christ, you are good enough. That is all that matters.

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4

So remember, you are not working in vain. You are not just wasting your time. The Lord is watching every moment and recording your deeds for later. He is writing out an account of the goodness of your heart, the kindness to a stranger, the secret giving to the poor, every heartfelt thought, and every righteous behavior that no one knows.

You are having a significant impact on others for Christ’s sake if you are seeking to do His will. You are honoring and pleasing God with the ways of your life. Continue doing so. It is of great value. You will reap what you have sown.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Though the road is difficult and rough, the Lord is with you every step of the way. Though you may not see Him or feel His presence all the time, He promises never to leave you and never forsake you. His promises are true.

He is more trustworthy than the sunrise and sunset. He is more dependable than the changing of the seasons, more pleasant than a balmy breeze in the middle of a summer day. What a great and marvelous God we serve. You can be sure of this; there will come a day when you will hear those beautiful words.

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21

We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way so that no fault may be found with our ministry,

but as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 

through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

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