In Part 1 we learned...
1. We reap much we did not sow
2. We reap the same kind as we sow
In Part 2 we learned...
3. We reap in a different season than we sow.
4. We reap in more than we sow
5. We reap in proportion as we sow
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sow, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
6. We reap the full harvest only if we persevere
Have you ever felt discouraged, downtrodden or defeated by the struggles of everyday life or unmet desires
Have you ever wanted to check-out, quit or give up?
I have, more times than I’d like to admit, but I know those thoughts come from the enemy in order to break my will and derail me from living according to God’s Word (rather than following the world).
Maybe you’ve given, served and sowed your entire life and never received so much as a “thanks” let alone a harvest of any kind. Why should you continue to live in a way that hasn’t produced results?
Because according to the sixth law of the harvest, we reap the full harvest only if we persevere.
I have strong Christian friends who gave in to their desire of just “wanting to be a husband or a wife” and married a non-believer only to end up in misery and divorce.
I’ve witnessed others who never dated their entire life and had their first date (and met their spouse) well into their forties. I’ve seen former co-workers go through interview after interview only to get the “perfect” job after months of searching. And I’ve known of those who have been blessed abundantly after years of seeking a child.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened had Noah listened to all of the naysayers and gave up on building the ark, Moses stopped at the Red Sea (and turned back), and Billy Graham quit evangelizing after his first negative response?
For every discovery, invention, and life changing moment, there were years of disappointments, struggles, second-guessing, frustration and doubt that preceded it.
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).
As an “experienced” single, I have gone through bouts of thinking I’m not good enough, I’ll never be desired by someone, and I’ll be alone the rest of my life. Thoughts of “loosening my standards” (that have been founded on God’s Word) have crossed my mind, but I have hope that has been built upon years of perseverance.
The enemy is always on the attack and wants to discourage us from being all we were created to be and have all we are meant to experience. He wants us to do away with our values, give up on our beliefs and compromise our standards. We see how the lack of morals has affected relationships within our culture over the years.
There will be trials and we will suffer, whether through relationships (or the lack of), financially, societal persecution or in a number of other ways. In order to overcome, we must persevere in an intentional way every moment of our day.
7. We cannot do anything about last year’s harvest
Many never reap the harvest they were meant to receive because they are so consumed with what has happened (to them) in the past.
We are probably all aware of those who rest on the laurels of past achievements, those who blame whatever is wrong in their life on some “one” or some “incident,” and those who can never look ahead to see the possibilities the future can hold.
Not to discount or minimalize the difficult struggles many of us face, however oftentimes we spend so much time and effort worrying about things (and people) we cannot change from the past we don’t have the energy or motivation to sow or reap the current harvest.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19).
We frequently hear the eighteenth verse of Isaiah 43 cited, however the nineteenth gives us a hope for the future which we will miss if we dwell in the past.
One of the ongoing themes throughout the Bible that seems to have a significant thread in The Law of the Harvest is trustworthiness and obedience - trustworthy with what you have been given and obedient to use it to glorify God.
It’s easy to look around and see others who have much more (talents, possessions, relationships, etc.) than you, feel neglected or cheated in life, and think you’re deserving of and even entitled to the same or more. However, nowhere does God promise us equal amounts of blessings, yet He challenges each one of us to be obedient to utilize whatever we have been given to produce the most we can (according to our calling) for His glory.
The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:16-17, 23).
For those of us who decide not to do anything (with our gifts) but worry, make excuses, give into laziness, hoard it and live in fear, our blessings will someday be taken from us.
The man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (Matthew 25:24-26).
No matter how much or how little we have been entrusted with, we are called to sow generously.
At times, it may seem as if we are sowing fruitlessly without much to show for our effort, or receiving a harvest of what we did not sow, however as a friend recently shared with me, “Don’t worry so much about the results as much as the process. If you continue following the correct procedure and practice, the results will come.”
The Law of the Harvest in essence is pretty simple - sow often and abundantly.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on facebook and twitter.
Publication date: October 15, 2013