“I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”
The Hidden Reality
Can you identify with what Jesus says in today’s Bible passage? Have you ever felt like you believe in vain and all your faith is for nothing?
The bills pile up, and the stress of making ends meet weighs you down. Where’s God? The pain continues, and there’s no relief in sight. Where is the Lord? Your kids make bad choices, and you can’t understand why. Where has God gone? Why doesn’t he fix these problems and make things better?
But that is not how God operates in this world. That’s why Jesus also said, “Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”
When Jesus did his work, it looked like labor with no purpose and strength spent in vain. By every standard the world uses, being nailed to a cross means that your life was a failure. But that visible reality could not blot out another reality, the hidden one. Jesus knew that the outcome of his work was in God’s hands, and even though he could not see it, he trusted God for victory.
This is a difficult lesson to learn: our God is a God who hides himself (Isaiah 45:15). This means our faith in God is not based on what we see or feel. It is based entirely on what God has said in his Word.
So never lose sight of the hidden reality that God makes known in his Word. He may hide himself by not giving you vast amounts of wealth so that you remember what a great treasure he is. He may hide himself by not eradicating sickness and pain so that you never forget to rely on him. He may hide himself by allowing you to suffer so that you never stop longing for your heavenly home. He may hide himself so that you look forward to the day when he will be hidden no more and you “shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
Lord, help me believe in what I cannot now see. Amen.