My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.
Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
Christian service is a blessing and a honor. This is the believer’s response to God’s blessings and grace. Christians serve the God in many different ways; as ordained clergy, in religious orders, as teachers and as faithful lay people. In whatever service that is rendered, it gives praise to God and touches the lives of people in powerful ways. Christian service brings blessings to the Church and to the world.
The writer offers words of wisdom concerning serving God. He stated that whoever wishes to serve God will have challenges. These challenges will come from different directions. There are many people who are hostile to the message of the Gospel. The attitudes and practices of the world today demonstrate an indifference to Christ and his Gospel. Faithful Christians who speak out and stand upon the teachings of Holy Scripture are often considered to be “out of touch” or intolerant.Those who stand faithfully upon the Gospel sometimes face mocking and persecution.
The Apostle Paul realized this in his own ministry. In his second letter to Timothy he wrote the following words.
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in union with Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
2 Timothy 3:12
Christians will suffer because of faith in Jesus Christ. Satan will give Christians no peace and will stir up opposition and hatred. Christians through the centuries to this day have suffered for the faith and have held firm to their confession of Christ. The early Christians suffered for their faith even to the point of death rather than surrender their hope in Christ. They saw their suffering as sharing in the sufferings of Christ and bearing witness to his Name.
How should Christians view service to God? With joy and gladness. Serve God with a joyful and humble heart. There will be people who will question the motives of those who serve. This should never discourage anyone from serving God. All service to God, will bring blessing and joy to all people.
Always be steadfast in service. Do not be discouraged by the attacks of Satan and by the struggles that come. It is easy to lose focus and to become discouraged while serving God. Some people have walked away from service due to burn out and frustration. Please do not become weary nor discouraged, find strength to continue in serve to God.
Remember that service to God is never a wasted effort, even if it is met with indifference or there is no visible results from the labor. Work in God’s name is never in vain. (see I Cor. 15:58)
Be prepared for the “fires” of adversity that will come. These times will come and Satan will use these times to discourage any service to God. Just as fire refines gold and burns away the impurities, so the fires of adversity will burn away the impurities and allow servants to shine as bright as refined gold.
Trust in God and serve him with faithfulness. God will bring his servants through the challenges and will shower upon them his rich blessings. No matter what challenges come, always see the joy of Christian service.
Beloved, serve God faithfully. Serve God with with joy.
GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST! AMEN!