Assured Purpose (1 Cor 15:58)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, KJV)

When I was studying for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, part of my education was to work in an engineering field for six-months and attend college for six-months. One of the jobs that I had was at the United States Steel Corporation. While there I was assigned to design an air-conditioning installation for the operations and power distribution room in electrical generating plant.

I spent a month designing the ductwork, ensuring the air would be distributed evenly. I put duct outlets at various points in the room. I calculated pressure losses in the ducts and sized them to ensure even flow and distribution of the cooled air. I located the return to the unit in a very specific point in the room. To do this, I had to study and apply the currently accepted practices. Just before returning to college, I turned everything over to my boss who thought the work and drafting was excellent. They planned to install the air-conditioning system sometime in the six-months I was at school, before I returned to work in mill on my next rotation.

When I returned to the mill, I went to the power plant to see how my design was implemented. I was shocked to see that they did not use my design at all. They did not use any ductwork to evenly distribute the cool air in the plant. They basically hung the air-conditioning unit over the entrance door to the room and had one inlet vent to the unit and one outlet vent right over top of the inlet. I thought to myself, what a waste of time. I spent a month designing the perfect system and they did not even use it.

Life is like this sometimes. We sometimes spin our wheels and seem to accomplish nothing. However, it is not this way when we do the work of the Lord. This is what Paul stated in this verse. After expounding on the necessity, the substance, and truth of the resurrection, he wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Since our future resurrection is assured, everything we do in the work of the Lord will bear fruit.

Sometime, we who teach and preach the word can get frustrated since we often do not see much happening from our labor. Often parishioners serve in their local churches and witness to their neighbors, but see little happening. We strive and sacrifice and wonder, why. We are not to fret over what we see. We are just to be steadfast, immoveable, and continuously abounding in the work of the Lord. When we serve there is much more going on in the heavenly picture than we can imagine. I am reminded of the word of God in Isaiah. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, KJV) We must press on and trust God for the results. They are His anyway.

Paul tells us that our “labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Do not forget it. When we get to heaven, we will understand this truth in all of its glory. We will see the fruit of our labor in a new light.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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