Fruitless faith!

Only the LORD can recognize whether or not what we are doing is useful or not.

September 26

I replied, "But my work all seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose at all. Yet I leave it all in the LORD'S hand; I will trust God for my reward."

Isaiah 49:4

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Fruitless faith!

Isaiah takes a look around at the ministry that he is doing and is very disappointed with what he sees. He feels that all of his efforts have been useless and have been a waste of his strength and energy. Anyone that gets involved in ministry of any kind for any length of time is going to find themselves feeling the same way that Isaiah does here in our verse for the day. We might wonder why we are doing the things that we are doing and even question whether or not God cares about what we are doing.

There are lots of reasons why this happens. We might not see anyone responding to the work that we are doing. Sometimes people don’t appreciate the things that we are doing for them. We might feel very lonely because no one seems to care how much we are doing for the LORD. We might even be persecuted for the work that we do for the LORD. This and so many more things can cause us to be very frustrated with the way things are going in ministry. These times are going to come and so we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves whining and complaining to God. It is our response to that realization that is important.

God doesn’t want us to grumble and complain. When we do, we are showing a lack of faith in the God that allows things to happen in your life and has the ability to do something about it. Everything that goes on in the universe is under God’s control. To grumble and complain about anything is to forget who God is.

Isaiah ends our verse for the day by saying that he is going to leave all of his concerns in the hands of the LORD. He doesn’t see that his work is useful for himself or for anyone else. But, in obedience he continues the work and trusts God to reward him for his efforts. Most faithful servants desire no more than to know that their master is happy. I believe that is the reward that Isaiah was looking for.

The key is leaving all of our cares and concerns about the things that we do for God in His hands. Only the LORD can recognize whether or not what we are doing is useful or not. We are not in a position to judge the fruitfulness of our labors. God assigned us the work that He did and only asks that we would be faithful to it. If you are faithful but don’t see any fruit right away just leave it in the LORD’s hands and trust Him for your reward. It is right to look for fruit; that is one of the ways that we know that we are where God wants us to be. Sometimes the fruit is very slow to mature. At those times we just need to trust the LORD and wait on Him. For 2,500 years Isaiah’s ministry has been bearing fruit. Jesus, help us to wait patiently for your reward.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Isaiah 48:12-50:11; Ephesians 4:17-32; Psalm 69:1-18; Proverbs 24:5-6

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