Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Is it worth it?

(This week’s devotions are based on Week 1 of the Series, “The Power of a Fresh Start!” WATCH HERE)

But I said, “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.” (Isaiah 49:4)


Well, that was worthless.

Have you ever felt this way after working hard a project, only to have the outcome be nothing or far less than you anticipated?  It could be something as simple as washing your car, only to have rain get it dirty later the same day.  However, it could be something you invest a large part of your life in trying to get right.  Perhaps you have felt this way as a parent as you poured your heart and soul into raising your children, only for them to go down a very different path than you desired for them.  Maybe you worked years to get a company off the ground, only to have to file bankruptcy.  Maybe you invested in a relationship that after years crumbled and broke apart.

There are many things in life that we spend time doing that we feel like we have labored in vain.

But would Jesus feel this way?

If I were in Jesus’ sandals, I think I would feel this way as I carried the cross out to Golgotha.  I left heaven to come to this end?  I invested life in teaching, in healing, in conversation with many people only to have them turn on me? I came to bring good news to people that have been waiting for years for the Messiah to come, only for them to receive it as a threat to their power and concern over the fall of their country.

“I have spent my strength for nothing at all.”

Maybe the feeling would drift to Jesus’ ascension where less than 150 people after three years of intense ministry, were following him.  “I have labored in vain.”

Often from earthly perspectives, we can feel like we are investing a lot of time, energy and effort and having very little to show for it from the aspect of finances, relationships, or notoriety.  

The reality is this: If we labor just for earthly reward, we will labor in vain.  Sure we can benefit people along the way, but someday, everything will come to an end when Christ returns and then what will we think?

“I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all.”

Or will we?

When we feel like we are laboring in vain, Isaiah continues:

“Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”

When I embrace a new perspective and realize that not only is my life one that now labors for the Lord, it is also a life that the Lord will use for his purposes.  When I allow the Lord to identify the reward, the success, instead of me, I realize that God can and does work all for my good and for his eternal glory.

Even work that no one notices, pays nothing, or does not contribute to a promotion, I know the Lord sees. And when the Lord sees it, the Lord uses it, and the Lord will reward it.  The Apostle Paul reminds us:

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

The Psalmist reminds us as well:

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

So embrace the new perspective today and whatever activities you are engaged in, allow the purpose of doing them NOT be for self-defined success but for the glory of God.  And as you labor for the Lord, notice how the Lord brings great reward to your work, helping you realize that all work for the Lord is never in vain and always used by the Lord for his purposes. 


Apply: What work have you done/are you doing that seems “in vain”?  What changes when you ask the Lord to give you a new perspective that reminds you to labor for the Lord and let him reward you for it?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing meaning and purpose to my work and tasks.  AMEN.

our mission: Grow With Purpose - Go With Passion