work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor.
It does not say "in work for the Lord." Much is done that is said to be for
the Lord, which is not really His work at all.
In I Thessalonians 1:3, we read of "work of faith," "labour of
love," and "patience of hope." Again, in Revelation 2:2, we read of their
"work and labour and patience." The same three words occur in both, but in
Revelation there is no mention of the "faith," the "love," or the
"hope." Outward activities many be largely engaged in, and much that passes for
genuine service, but what is work to Christ if it be not "work of faith?" What
is labour, if it be not labour of love?" What is patience, if it be not a patience
that counts upon His coming as its goal? It is the faith, the love, and the hope, that are
precious in the eyes of the Lord.
It is a great mistake to limit "the work of the Lord" to Gospel work. The
work of the Lord for each one is that particular line of service to which He has called
him, and for which He has qualified him.
It may appear to be in vain, there may be little manifest fruit; but in the Lord to
whom it is done, it is not, it cannot be in vain. I do not say that we should be satisfied
to see no results from the Gospel testimony; it is right that we should expect fruit. But
even if no fruit is manifest, do not allow that as a pretext for giving it up or losing
heart; there may be results that we do not see, and which it would not be good for us to
Therefore, do not be discouraged. Go on steadfast, unmovable, in the work. Take up the
cross : Accept the reproach. Be patient, though you receive little help and little
sympathy from those from whom you expected much. Though misunderstood and evil spoken of,
still go on, and whatever the Lord gives you to do, do it with your might, and be assured
your labour is not in vain in the Lord. The resurrection morning will prove the truth of
this word, when nothing that was really done to the Lord will be passed unnoticed.
Taken from brother Hole's writings on I Corinthians.