But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7)
I’ll be honest, living with chronic illness is a daily battle of whether I’m going to give in to the opposition of my body fighting against me, as well as the enemy who is never far behind symptom flares striking blows at me, or whether I’m going to press in even deeper into Jesus and trust that His grace will be sufficient for yet another day. I wish I could say that everyday I wake up and am ready to put that armor of God on and fight excellently without falter, but that would make me perfect – of which I am not. However, I can attest to the faithfulness of God who sees the daily struggle and is a constant encouragement to keep fighting the good fight.
In this verse in 2 Chronicles, Asa the king, was a God-fearing man, and yet he needed that push from the prophesy that Azariah spoke to him. He was reminded of the history of Israel in their rebellion and the distress that had come upon them, and then is told, “BUT YOU, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7, emphasis added) And his very next actions recorded were that he took courage and repaired the altar of the Lord which led the people to worship and make a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.
“God deserves to be served with all the energy of which we are capable."(Charles Spurgeon)
I know I personally have fluctuating energy levels and capabilities due to chronic illness, but God doesn’t expect me to serve Him with more than I’m capable of. He never even intended that His people would serve Him on their own without His Spirit empowering them. And yet it should be with all the energy in which we’re capable of that we serve Him, even knowing full well that it won’t be by our power or might but by His Spirit that things are successfully accomplished (Zechariah 4:6). This isn’t a capability or strength issue, it’s a courage and obedience issue – it’s a heart issue.
Be honest with yourself. Do you feel like a failure or like your weakness is defining who you are?
Never forget that your identity is in Christ and God is calling you to be a faithful steward. Realize this though, we never see God call His people to be successful stewards, only faithful ones. In the end we desire to hear, “Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant”, not “good and successful servant”. Your success for the work you do isn’t the reason you’re rewarded, your obedience and faithfulness is. Don’t worry about striving for success in the work; merely attend to your faithfulness, because your obedience and faithfulness to simply do the work He calls you to IS your success. God is your strength and portion, so serve Him to the fullest of your capability, not for success in the work itself, but for His glory in which you shall be rewarded.
When you don’t have energy, when you feel like nothing is going right, when you feel like things take forever to progress, when you’re finding you focus on the work or outcome of the work itself to find meaning or purpose in doing it – take a moment to stop and remember Who called you. People wandering aimlessly without Jesus in this life have reason to feel discouraged and hopeless when their work doesn’t yield the success they want, BUT YOU, take courage, do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!