By Mike Willis
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:7-10).
This year has been a disaster for the farmers in the Midwest. Because of a drought at the time corn was tasseling, the crops will produce much less than average yield this year. Some farmers will lose not only a year’s wages, but also the cost of planting their crops. Some will be forced into bankruptcy; others will become disheartened and quit.
Paul used the metaphor of farming in teaching the lesson “whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” In verse 9 of the text before us, he was concerned that some Christians would become disheartened, like some modern farmers, and quit. Consequently, he exhorted, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Please consider this text with me.
Christians Should Be Busy In Well Doing
Man has a choice regarding how to spend his life. He can use his life to “sow to the flesh” or “sow to the Spirit.” We are free moral beings. However, God’s will is that we devote our lives to sowing to the Spirit. Just as Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), Christians should spend their lives doing good. We are created for good works (Eph. 2: 10) and are exhorted to maintain good works (Tit. 1:16; 2:14; 3:1,8).
There is a limited time for sowing to the Spirit, just as farmers have a limited time to plant. Jesus taught as much when he said, “I must work the works of him, that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4). We have a limited time on earth to sow to the Spirit. There comes a time when it is too late to plant.
Reasons For Persevering In Well Doing
1. You reap what you sow. The eternal reward of heaven, life everlasting, is prepared for those who have spent their lifetime making choices to serve God by doing good. The eternal punishment of hell is reserved for those who have made a lifetime of decisions to sow to the flesh. We need to be reminded that a person cannot live the life of the wicked and die the death of the righteous; he cannot sow to the flesh and reap life everlasting.
2. To glorify God. A person should persevere in doing good in order that God may be glorified. God is glorified by a man’s loyal obedience to his will. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Our age thinks that God is glorified by mouthing “Praise the Lord.” Religious broadcasters have taught this by example; nearly every other word is “praise the Lord.” One praises the Lord by how he lives. Although there is nothing wrong with saying “praise the Lord” or singing a hymn exhorting us to “praise the Lord,” we need to be reminded that God is praised by our lives.
3. To make the church grow. We need to persevere in well doing to make the church grow numerically and spiritually. If we become disheartened and quit serving God, the church will decrease in size. Many congregations are suffering from disheartened saints who are “keeping house” for the Lord. The result is a dead church which does little or nothing except go through the five acts of worship on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night; even this is done with little enthusiasm and zeal. Such a church cannot influence others to obey the gospel.
4. To secure our own salvation. Paul exhorted, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). My reaping everlasting life is contingent upon my first sowing to the Spirit.
Causes Of Weariness In Well Doing
Despite these facts, saints become weary in well doing. If we can identify some of the causes of becoming weary in well doing, perhaps we can better overcome the temptation to quit sowing to the Spirit.
1. Conflict with the ungodly world. Some people become tired of the continuous conflict with the ungodly world and give up the fight. They surrender to the world. I have experienced this feeling. While attending seminary in Indianapolis, I got tired of the continuous conflict with infidel teachers,who did not believe in miracles, the inspiration of the Bible, hell, etc. I was glad when I completed my degree program so that I would not have to be in that conflict rive days a week.
2. Ingratitude of those we serve. Sometimes we become disheartened because those who serve fail to express appreciation for that service. They are like the nine lepers whom Jesus healed who never returned to express gratitude (Lk. 17:11-19).
3. Indifference of others who should be serving. Some become discouraged and ready to quit because other Christians are not committed to serving. They do not have enough interest to attend Bible class, much less be involved in the work God has given us.
4. The size of the task before us. Sometimes we are reluctant to begin because of the size of the task before us. I have a stack of correspondence which needs to be filed; I have not begun because of how big the stack is. Sometimes when we perceive how much needs to be done in the local church, we hesitate to begin.
5. Opposition to plans to work. Where the local church is successful, the devil will raise up opposition. When this opposition comes, some will quit, not persevering in doing good. Not all opposition comes from without the church; some brethren oppose every suggestion for doing good saying, “This will never work” or “we tried this before and it did not work.”
6. Fatigue. Some experience what has been labeled as “burnout.” Someone observed that 90 percent of the work in the local church is done by 10 percent of the people. Because of the heavy demands on the time of the 10 percent, some quit.
7. Failure to see results. The failure to see positive results causes some to quit. The farmer throws in the towel because the crop did not produce. Christians quit because they do not see any results from their work. First of all, we need to be reminded that the harvest is “the end of the world” (Matt. 13:39) at the “resurrection of the just” (Lk. 14:14). Consequently, we should plant the seed and patiently await the harvest (Jas. 5:7). Secondly, we live among men who have been hardened in their sin by materialism, sensuality, and indifference; our age more nearly resembles that of an Ezekiel (2:3-8; 3:6-9) or Jeremiah than that of the apostles on Pentecost. Consequently, we should not expect to see the same number baptized in our age as they saw in theirs. Thirdly, we need to remember that our job is to plant and water; God’s work is to give the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-9). God does not demand that we baptize a lot of people; he commands us to be faithful (1 Cor. 4:2).
Remedy For Weariness In Well Doing
1. Prayer. If you are becoming weary or have already quit, recognize your sin and confess it to God in prayer. Ask his forgiveness and resolve to quit quitting. Ask God’s help to overcome the temptation to quit.
2. Bible study. The word of God is designed to give us “patience (hupomone. perseverance) and comfort” (Rom. 15:4). If you lack perseverance, you probably have not been feeding your soul the word of God. Recognize that you must feed on God’s word to find the spiritual strength to survive.
3. Brotherly encouragement. One of the purposes of the worship assemblies is “to provoke one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). If you see yourself becoming weary in well doing, do not begin missing the worship assembly. There is never a time that you need the brotherly encouragement of other Christians more than at this time. Dropping out of the worship assemblies is taking yourself away from one of the supports which God has given us to help us persevere. Find a Christian friend to whom you can talk and with whom you can pray, to help you through this time of weariness in well doing.
4. Trust in God’s providence. If the circumstances look unfavorable, accept the present as being in the hands of a just and loving God. God will work out his own will in his own way. My fretting about matters will not change them. I need to busy myself doing God’s will and trust him to control the future.
As Paul concluded his chapter on the resurrection, he exhorted, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal.6:9).
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 19, pp. 578, 598-599
October 6, 1988