“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” — I Corinthians 15:55-58
In the book of I Corinthians, the 15th chapter, Paul deals with the Corinthians’ views on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He tells them how preaching this glorious gospel would be in vain if Christ had not died and accomplished the ultimate victory of conquering death.
A dead situation
Paul had to let them know that what seemingly was a dead situation to them was just an opportunity for God to show up and show out.
Because the Corinthians could not understand how God miraculously had moved in the situation, they made judgments and calculations based on their education and experience of the human mind. Have you ever been in a dead situation in which everyone counted you out? Lost stuff that folks thought you shouldn’t have lost? Destroyed relationships they thought could never be mended? Killed opportunities they thought would never come back around?
God resurrected what they counted out. God called it back to life. Family, friends, coworkers, loved ones — they all pulled the plug. But God showed that if you work it, he’ll bring it back to life.
One definition of work is an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something, a sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result.
Anytime there is a prolonged requirement to sustain something, the flesh gets weak. But many times, we fail in the fact that we want things to happen overnight. When Paul instructed the people to be steadfast, he wanted them to be consistent in their work for the Lord.
People of God, if we’re going to make it in this day and age, we’ve got to hold on and continue to work!
Some of us have been through so much controversy, drama and confusion in our lives that people thought we’d never get back up. Some have lost husbands, wives, trust, homes, cars or children, and we keep coming back to church ready to do the work of the Lord.
Church has been described as a hospital for spiritual healing, but if this is the case, someone has to help the hospital accomplish its work.
This community is full of churches looking for the people of God to get in position and go to work. Rise above your dead situation, hold to God’s unchanging hand and know that your labor is not in vain.
Don’t grow weary in well doing, for in due season you’re going to reap, if you faint not! I don’t know what you’ve been called to do, but work it!
Hayes is the pastor of New Day Community Church and the president of the United Ministerial Alliance.