Weekly Encouragement #3: Not in Vain

Yay! It's time again for another moment of Weekly Encouragement, where business owners, leaders and overall risk-takers (that's you) are infused with support and life. This is a refuel station; take what you need and keep going.

This week is especially for those who feel tired beyond what they thought was possible.

 

Not sure if this goes for you, but last week was a rough one.

Difficulties almost seem to have more of a downer effect this time of year because, well, it's the beginning of the year. Our minds begin to fill up with questions and moanings like:

If this is the start of the new year, what's the rest of the year going to look like?

Am I going to be stuck here forever?

I thought things would be different.

Your heart loses its peace; your mind fades into panic.

It really sucks. We want nothing more than to walk on the path laid out before us, to fulfill the calling we know has been we're meant to live out. We try so hard to put up with the things that get in our way, which seems to be so many sometimes.

Doubt. Stress. Lack of support. Envy.

We show up (most days) and try our best to put our greatest effort out there — and yet none of it seems good enough.

You're still broke.

Your parents still won't see the point behind what you're doing.

Your spouse is only growing more and more frustrated.

As the days go on, giving up just seems like the wiser thing to do.

This has been all of us at some point or another.

But alas, as always, there's hope.

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

Isaiah the Prophet was, like most other prophets, tasked with the job of bringing God's word to the Israelites, calling them to repentance — calling them back to Him.

But did the Israelites listen? (Spoiler: Nope, very rarely.)

Were the prophets at least respected and viewed as an authority? (Spoiler: Every now and then, but they were scorned at and even tortured more often that not.)

Imagine you spend your life trying to bring a message of hope and reconciliation to people who need it the most (no assumptions here, just facts) and no matter what, they just don't listen.

Your work seems to be in vain.

How frustrating has that got to be?

Yet what is due to me is in the Lord’s hand,
and my reward is with my God.
— Isaiah 49:4b

I want you to spend a good amount of time today repeating this to yourself.

Forget your feelings. Forget what your situation currently looks like. Leave condemnation and guilt at the door and enter a place where this can really soak into your heart and mind.

You are not working in vain.

You might not like that job that you're in. Maybe no one is paying attention to anything you post online. You show up and give your best efforts, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to take a chance, and it doesn't seem to be paying off.

But your reward is with Him.

God has never been one to let actions go by without their just reward. We might not always see things — kind and cruel, fair and unfair — play out totally in this life, but one thing is always for sure: as long as God lives, He sees you. He knows you. He's completely aware as to how you feel.

Your reward is coming.

So keep going.


If you're a business owner or leader who needs help taking their message + skills to a wider audience, I am offering consultation services that will leave you with a "values-based" visibility plan — perfect for letting the world know exactly who you are and how you can serve them.

Your work is far from over. Let's get you to where you need to go today.


In other (yet similar) news, here's my latest book recommendation yet again for another week: The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective

I tend to relate a lot to prophets of old, including Isaiah and Jeremiah and them, because it turns out that they're mostly all obvious 4's (just like me!)

If you haven't taken the time to learn more about the Enneagram, then you're not taking time to learn more about yourself (and that's typically a mistake.)

The Enneagram is nothing but a tool, developed by the early Christian fathers and still used today by many pastors and leaders to care for their congregations and teams.

If you liked "The Five Love Languages", then you will undoubtedly love the knowledge (and the humiliating clarity) that comes from studying this book.

Believe me, once you identify your type, you're going to want to learn more and more and more.

The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective is a great place to start for anyone interested in going on this journey of healing, reflection, hope and grace.

(The above is an affiliate link. Should you choose to purchase the book, I will earn a percentage of the sales for having made the recommendation — at no extra cost to you.)

 

Love you all. Love yourselves. Keep holding on.