Today’s devotion is for all of those out there who know what it’s like to be frustrated, disappointed, and confused. I am writing to each of the following:
• The pastor who is preaching the truth but still not seeing the church growth or participation he expected
• The overweight individual who has been faithful with diet and exercise for months but sees no visible results from the effort and discipline
• The employee who obeys all the rules and goes above and beyond the call of duty yet is passed up for the promotion for the third time in a row
• The parent who has shed tears and prayed prayers over their wayward child but has yet to see any fruit from their intercession
• The teenager who had enough courage to take a stand for Christ only to find himself ridiculed and cast out by those whom he called friends
• The wife who loved her husband and did her best to respect and honor him though it didn’t stop him from walking away and leaving her alone to raise their children
• To anyone who has ever had a dream and worked hard to see that dream come to fruition only to watch it go up in smoke
Yes, today I want to address those who are hurt and brokenhearted. Those whose daily cry is, “Lord, I don’t understand. I did everything right. I was faithful to You, to my family, to my church, to my job. I did my best and trusted You, but it hasn’t paid off. What happened to the concept of sowing and reaping? I’ve sown a lot, but I have reaped nothing!” It seems so cruel, doesn’t it? So unfair. After all, there are plenty of people out there living it up, thinking only of themselves, yet they seem to get anything and everything they want. But I assure you, it just seems that way. In reality, most of those people are missing the only thing that really matters—Jesus.
So, how should we respond when we’ve done the work, prayed the prayers, put forth the effort, but seen no results? The last chapter of the book of Habakkuk gives us a good idea.
If we don’t get the results we want, the outcomes we desire, the conclusions we hoped for, we should rejoice. Say what? That goes against our human logic, doesn’t it? Our default setting is to complain when things don’t go our way, not rejoice. But just because that’s our standard response doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Nope, according to the Bible (in several passages, in fact), the appropriate reaction to disappointment is praise. Why? Because no matter what’s going on in our lives, God is good and worthy of our worship. Despite our outward circumstances, we can rejoice because we have something that can never be taken away. When others forsake us, we still have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And though it seems like our efforts aren’t paying off down here, God is keeping a record of every work we do for Him, and there will be a day of reckoning.
So, don’t lose heart, dear one. Keep doing the right thing. Don’t give up because you don’t see the results for which you were hoping. Your efforts are not in vain, so rejoice in that. Joy in the God who is Your constant Friend, your strength, your refuge, and so much more. And one day, you’ll see it was worth it all!