Rewards will come
When I was younger, I had a vision for my life. I had plans. I knew what I wanted to do. At least I assumed I did. I also was sure things would move forward and progress quickly.
My path rarely led me to the place (or at the pace) I anticipated it would. Sometimes I got way more or less than I bargained for—or in some seasons, nothing at all.
There were moments when I questioned everything. I was very confused about why I was unfruitful and unproductive. I wrongly assumed that righteous living guaranteed immediate answers and productivity. But over time, my real world experience, coupled with a much deeper understanding of God’s word, taught me the truth.
These days, I’m clear on this one thing: you can do everything right and still get wrong results.
Take Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, for example. Her story is found in Luke 1. Both she and her husband Zechariah were devout Jews. Both of them came from the lineage of priests.
Verse 6 says, “Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations.” Clearly, they loved God. They committed their lives to His service. And yet, Elizabeth was barren. She could have no children.
Psalm 127:3 NLT says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” And women who could not bear children in Bible days were considered cursed. So here we have this God-fearing, God-worshiping, God-honoring couple sacrificing their lives in service to the Kingdom of God; nevertheless, from the outside, it appeared that they were cursed and not blessed.
Have you ever felt like your external circumstances were unfair in light of your internal commitment to serving God? Have you ever wanted to see God’s hand move in your favor as proof positive that there are rewards for righteousness? Even though you may already know that trials, hardship, suffering and difficulty are a part of the Christian journey, have you still longed to reap a bountiful harvest as confirmation that obedience produces good things?
You likely have felt this way at some point. Most of us do. Even I have. Notwithstanding, you can be righteous and barren; righteous and in debt; righteous and sick; righteous and dealing with heartbreak; righteous and lonely; righteous and ridiculed; righteous and lied on; righteous and betrayed; righteous and unproductive. Contradictory season like this can leave you quite confused about why God is allowing you to dwell in this deep and horrible pit.
But wait. It’s not over. There’s some good news for those who patiently endure affliction and it’s this: rewards are coming. At the appointed time, your barren season will end, just as it ended for Elizabeth. Things will turnaround. You will finally reap the rewards you’ve been waiting on.
In Luke 1:13, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah while he was serving in the temple and said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.”
From the angel’s words we can deduce that Zechariah had been praying to God for a child. But the Lord had not responded favorably before that moment. By the time the breakthrough came, Scripture records that both Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old. So it had been many years with no manifestation.
But what do I always say? Delay does not mean denial. Though it has been a long time coming, change will come. Rewards will come. God will open your womb and you will give birth to His promises just as Elizabeth did.
So don’t fret because of the length of time that has passed without an answer. Don’t speculate about God’s plans and make assumptions because nothing has happened yet. Instead, keep on believing. Know that He will show up for you at the right time. No matter how long you’ve been waiting; how old you are; how frustrated you feel; how unlikely it seems; how unfair it appears to be; or how hurt you are.
God will show up and rewards will come.
Friend, hold onto your faith. Cling to your belief. Remain confident in the midst of affliction. God, who has promised to make you fruitful, to bless and prosper you, will do what He said.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring Luke 1:37 NLT right into your cup of inspiration, which says, “For the word of God will never fail.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, rejoicing in knowing that God’s word cannot fail. If He said it, He will make good on everything He has spoken over your life. Be encouraged today. You will reap a harvest of rewards in due season if you don’t give up.
Now let’s pray.
God, I don’t have all the answers. I can’t see what You’re up to. The delays have been discouraging, but thank You for reminding me through this word that You are faithful. Your word never goes forth without producing fruit. Help me to remain fully confident in Your promises and wait in expectation for my breakthrough to show up at the set time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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