“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing”(II Thessalonians 3:13). As a Christian, I know that I want to do the very best to be the most faithful Child of God that I can be. I strive to put God first every day, and I plan to continue to teach my children to do the same. A benefit of being a Christian is doing God’s Will, and it is His Will that I, and other Christians busy ourselves with good works. Doing good unto others, doing the “right thing” in all situations, as well as making sure that we take time to worship God as He wants to be worshipped are all part of the “good works” that God requires us to perform in order to be pleasing unto Him. However, a Christian living in today’s world, which does not uphold God’s Word could become discouraged from doing the good works that needs to be done. We must make sure that when faced with criticism or mistreatment from others, that we do not stop working toward attaining our primary goal, which is to reach Heaven. Here are some ways that Christians can avoid being discouraged from continuing to work daily for the Lord.
1. Study your Bible daily. I have written an article in the past just on this subject because it is so important that a Christian be spiritually fed everyday from the Word of God, just as everyone would make sure to be physically fed every day. II Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” A Christian must study the Word of God in order to know what He expects of everyone in order to be faithful. Just hearing the Bible read, preached, or taught on Sundays and Wednesday nights are not enough. We must show our love of God by wanting to hear His Words to us each and every day. Think of it this way, would we want to hear from our loved ones just one or two days in a week? If not, then it stands to reason that if we are to put God above everyone else, then we should want to hear from Him through the Bible each and every day as well! “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). We should also read the Bible in order to be able to teach others about God’s Word so that they may become Christians themselves. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Timothy 3:16). When a faithful Christian faces adversity, reading the Bible is such a great comfort, because he or she can be reminded of God’s Love for him or her, and what wonderful things await a faithful Christian at the end of life’s journey!
2. Practice Bible teachings everyday: This is where the phrase “practice what you preach” fits. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). Of course, reading God’s Word alone does not make us faithful Christians. We must also practice the Bible’s teachings in our own lives every day. Once we know what God expects of us, we must strive to do the very best that we can to comply with God’s Will, no matter the consequences. Although it can be challenging to face criticism from others for standing up for God instead of what may be perceived as a more popular view, Christians must always remember that on the Day of Judgment, we will have to answer to God, not man. How sad would it be to lose the eternal joys of Heaven just to avoid a little temporary discomfort here on the earth? “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). I recently heard about a sermon preached by a faithful Christian where it was stated that we are all on a journey in this life, and we are all headed to a certain destination. That is such a profound statement, because everyone, both the faithful and unfaithful are on their way to their destinations, be it Heaven or Hell. I know that I want to make sure that my destination is Heaven, and I want as many people as I can get to go with me!
3.Work to convert others. Although working to convert others can become discouraging at times, the benefits far outweigh the costs. I admire preachers like my husband who have worked to help so many become faithful members of the church of Christ, and I know that the work of the preacher is so important. However, you do not have to be a preacher to help others become faithful Christians. You can teach others that you come into contact with on a daily basis, whether it be at your place of employment, your school, at a family get-together, or wherever a social interaction takes place. This is where the daily Bible study and making sure you are living faithfully can help others reach the same goal. If you are not knowledgeable in Scripture or you have some glaring issues in your own life, you will not be able to successfully reach others. When teaching others, it is also beneficial to approach them with love and kindness rather than an attitude of “I’m right and your wrong.” Those that we teach will see the error of their ways if they have an open heart without the person teaching them in a harsh way. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (I Peter 3:15). Even if our teachings are rejected, we must not become discouraged from trying to convert as many souls as we can to Christ. We will only be held accountable for whether or not we tried to teach others, not for the end result. We must also remember that those who reject or persecute us for teaching God’s Word are going against God, not us. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:48-50)
4. Pray often. Oftentimes, some people only turn to God in prayer during challenging times, however, we should have a prayerful attitude at all times. Prayer unto God will help us in any situation that we find ourselves because God hears and answers the prayers of those who are faithful. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). We should not only pray for ourselves but for others as well. Prayer not only helps to improve our spiritual health, but it also helps boost our moods and it encourages us to have a more positive frame of mind during discouraging times.
5. Attend worship services at your local congregation regularly. In my last article entitled “The Weak Christian and Worship Service Attendance” I talked about how Christians who are not being as faithful as they should will use various excuses for not attending worship services regularly. Of course, God in His Mercy will forgive those who miss worship services due to sickness or caring for the sick, but not attending for any other reason causes us to forsake the assembly. We should also not use issues that would not keep us out of our secular job as an excuse to miss worship services. We should always be joyful and excited to attend worship services to sing praises to and worship our Heavenly Father. For me, I always come out of worship service feeling so much better than I did going in! “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). The church is the house of the Lord today (I Timothy 3:15), and let us joyfully enter her assemblies!