By Steve Troxel
In the message “God’s Thermal of Encouragement” we saw how God promises to lift up those who hope and trust in Him. His promise of encouragement does not depend on the difficulty or darkness of our situation. No matter how hopeless our circumstances may appear, His promise remains and we must trust Him with all our heart – He WILL lift us high and send us soaring! We also considered how we are called to provide lifts of encouragement when others are drifting in the valley of despair. We are called to encourage even when we are unable to witness or recognize the results.
The Corinthians believed in Jesus and were encouraged in their faith through the efforts of multiple people. But Paul reminded them that although many may have provided influence and guidance, it was God who did the real work.
1 Corinthians 3:6
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.”
I’ve often pondered the idea of watering without being able to see growth. My grandparents were married for sixty-five years, lived most of their life in a small farm house, and died a few miles from where they were born. In my youth, their love for the Lord was the foundation upon which I could stand when all else was crumbling. God used their faithful and patient watering for many years to soften my rebellious heart and call me to His side. My grandparents died before my life produced much fruit but they diligently continued to water.
I have been sending out messages through this ministry for nineteen years. When I began the ministry I believed God’s promise that if I would faithfully send out His Word it would “not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). It gave me great comfort to know that God would use His Word to accomplish His purpose. The promise in this verse continues to be a comfort today; I am to plant and water, and trust God to grow exactly all He desires.
I recently received the following note from a reader in Kenya; this is a praise to what God is growing:
“I have been receiving your messages for a couple of years now and sometimes the messages find me very low. Every time that I read your messages it give a new energy, a new dimension of worship and also the way I need to face life, not as a hopeless piece of human but as a true son of the most high God.”
Indeed, God’s Word does not return empty! No matter what our current circumstances, we must obediently plant His message and continue to water with encouragement at every opportunity. Many people are walking in a spiritually dry land and we may be the only bit of Jesus they see or hear…or read. Some seeds take a long time to germinate, and some plants can take years to fully mature and bear fruit. Let’s minister with our focus always on the glory of God. He will produce the growth in His timing, and according to His perfect plan. Let’s join His work by simply, and faithfully, continuing to plant and water.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries