DO NOT BE WEARY IN WELL DOING.
“Brethren, do not be weary in well doing” – II Thessalonians 3:13 (RSV)
INTRODUCTION: The counsel of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians is very timely and relevant to us individually and to the Diocese as an entity. As an individual, challenges confronting us at home, in the ministry and in the nation are enough reasons to despair. The atrocities being perpetrated in the society make it to seem as if the forces of evil are superior to God. As a Diocese, our focus this year is “Come, Labour on”. The Lord requires more input from all of us to advance his kingdom on earth. The vision of the Diocese to be “first among equals in soul winning, caring, and social ministry, with a view to populating Heaven and depopulating hell” is to be pursued with all vigor more than ever before. It would be impossible for a weary man to labour on in the Lord.
In this second epistle to the Thessalonians, Apostle Paul started by way of applauding the church for their unalloyed steadfastness despite all odds “We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren as is fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring” (II Thess. 1:3-4). He praised the steadfastness and faith of the church in the face of persecutions and afflictions. Nevertheless, he saw the danger that lies ahead due to false teachings about the coming of the Lord (II Thess. 2) and the problem of unstable brethren within the fold. Hence the warning “Brethren, do not be weary in well doing”
WHAT IS WEARINESS?
Weariness is the condition of being extremely tired. It is lack of excitement, liveliness or interest in a particular venture. To be weary means:
v To be tired – no longer wanting to do something you are doing before because you are bore with it or annoyed with it.
v To be discontented – not satisfied with what you are doing which may be due to the feeling that you are not getting what you need/expect to get from doing it.
v To be indifferent – lacking interest in what you are doing or lacking sympathy with people. An unconcern attitude towards a common task.
v To be dissatisfied – annoyed because something is not as good as you expected it to be.
Whenever any of those trait or others similar to it begin to manifest in our lives, it means weariness has set in. There is need for us to examine our lives individually in the light of the above explanation in order to know where we stand. This must be done because it might be too late to stop a full blown outburst of our weary state of heart.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF WEARINESS?
2nd Kings 18 was a record of the great exploit of Prophet Elijah in ministry. He called the people together to make a decision between serving God or Baal. In the ensuing contest with the 450 Prophets of Baal, he called fire down from heaven to consume the water soaked sacrifice. After which he singlehandedly killed all the prophets of Baal at the brook Kishon. He prayed for opened heaven for rain and it was so. He outran King Ahab who rode on chariot by the hand of God over his life. It was a day of great revival as the whole Israel declared “The LORD, he is God; The LORD, he is God”. It was also a day of great refreshing as the drought of 3½ years was brought to an end.
The twist of event in 2nd king 19 was a serious issue to be considered. On hearing the threat of Queen Jezebel, prophet Elijah, who had just have the greatest moment in history became despaired, He declared “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers” (19:4). What happened? Has God failed him before? Had there been any time that God has abandoned him? What is enough? Was there not any testimony that could be remembered in this time of need? How many of his fathers in their generation had so much enjoyed the sustaining power of God like him or what was it that made him not to be better than his fathers?
Beloved of God, we may not know what really happened to Elijah before he resigned his appointment in laboring for God as we may be novice of why he desired death as his gratuity. It would be expedient for us at this point to examine some of the causes of weariness in order to avoid its pitfall.
Lack of Fruit: This is when outcome of our effort does not justify the input of ourselves and resources. Over the years, so much had been spent on some mission station in the Diocese without fruit to show for our effort. Is this enough reason for us to be discontented and become indifference to labour on in the Lord?
Longing for Rest/Fulfillment: This is the fourth year of our inauguration, is it not yet time to overcome our teething problems? Is it not yet time to have the burden reduced from the individual and become self sufficient?
Lack of Appreciation: When your effort is thought not to be appreciated. Did Elijah expect a national honour? Who are you doing it for; God or man? Whose applause do you prefer?
Lack of inspiration: When the next thing that needs to be done to breakthrough are not known and all source of direction seems hidden, there is every tendency to throw in the towel. When there is no vision people cast restrain.
WHY MUST WE NOT BE WEARY?
Prophet Elijah submitted his resignation letter because he became weary of well doing. When his letter was treated, God had no option than to terminate his appointment and replaced him with a ready made alternative – Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah. Not only that, God let him knew that there were still seven thousand faithful men who could be used to labour in the kingdom for they have kept themselves from defilement.
Beloved, we must see our calling to labour in the body of Christ through this Diocese as a rare privilege to be cherished. The fact that God is using you does not mean that there are not better alternatives. God’s decision to give you the privilege of partaking in this labour is by grace in order to reveal his glory in you. If Elijah, with his great exploit in the kingdom could be made to realize that he is not indispensable in the purpose of God, what would be our lot if we become weary? Could any man ever think that the Israelites would be able to get to the Promised Land with Moses? We must be watchful lest we frustrate the grace of God over our lives.
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die” (Ezekiel 18:24).
WHAT ARE THE ANTEDOTES FOR WEARINESS?
There was a divine provision for us in time of weariness. Our strength is not inexhaustible as humans. The antidote in times of need was not made hidden from us: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30 – 31(KJV). We need to learn to wait upon the Lord for the renewal of our strength in times of weariness. The following are some of what can help us to cure weariness.
In conclusion, the Lord that has called us to labour in his vineyard is not calling us to labour in vain. With the call to come and labour was the promise of a sure reward. “Therefore my brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” 1 Cor. 15:58 (KJV)
20th December, 2016 - 04:59 PM
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