Precious Testimonies Ministry Encourager
“LORD – I’M BEING FAITHFUL: WHERE IS MY REWARD?”
By: Norm Rasmussen
You’ve resisted temptation to sin, time and time again. You’ve been faithful to sacrificially sow financially into the Lord’s work. You’ve poured out your time and energy into the lives of others to advance God’s Kingdom, yet life gets more difficult it often seems. You pray, you fast, you wash your mind with God’s Word frequently, you attend church faithfully and support those in leadership, you worship Him and praise Him with everything in your being … yet it seems sometimes like God is ignoring it all.
BE CAREFUL THINKING THOSE THOUGHTS! They are lies!
God WILL reward us for our faithfulness to Him! In His time …
In fact, God hints strongly in His Word that we are not to expect the bulk of our rewards to be given us in this life. Our greatest rewards are FUTURE TENSE, saints. We must always remember that, or we may slack off on our desire to keep doing the difficult things God desires that we do on His behalf.
Here are some scriptures from the NKJV translation to admonish you to “keep on keeping on your faithful obedience to the Lord.” Let the Holy Spirit use them to re-energize your commitment to keep doing God’s will:
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” - Matthew 5:11-12
(Notice WHERE you reward is in the above scripture: in heaven)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? - Matt. 5:43-46
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” - Matt. 6:1-4
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” - Matt. 6:5-6
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” - Matt. 6:16-18
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and THEN He will reward each according to his works.” - Matt 16:27
When? THEN …
“Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as by fire. – 1 Cor. 3:8-17
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. – Hebrew 10:36-39
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12
We actually have virtually no details in God’s Word about how God will reward Christians in eternity for their faithfulness in this life, but from what scriptures God has given us regarding personal rewards, it would seem that we’re on very safe ground to say that they will not be realized until a future time.
I believe the Hebrews 10:36-29 is addressing this very issue. We need to KEEP enduring – keep persisting – keep persevering – KEEP ON KEEPING ON, because our rewards are being layed up in heaven for us.
Matthew 6:19-20 supports this: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
What rewards did the Apostle Paul receive in this life for all the pain he suffered in being obedient to the Lord’s call on his life? Absolutely ZERO from what I’m able to see in the Word. His joy was the same as that of Jesus: it was forward looking – futuristic - in the next life, which was why Paul wrote:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. - 2 Cor. 16:18
Child of the living God … don’t let the devil try to convince you that you have every right to be rewarded NOW – in THIS life - for your faithfulness. First of all, what scriptures God has given us about rewards, they are forward looking – futurist. Secondly, it really can be selfishness – lust – impatience - in operation without our even knowing that the devil can use to discourage us.
The devil is looking for every way he can to try to discourage us from walking in obedience to God. Probably what makes it more crucial now than ever before to continue to KEEP DIGGING DEEPER into God’s grace to keep staying faithful in God’s call upon our lives, and to keep staying as free from sin as possible, is the fact that spiritual darkness appears to be accelerating at an alarming rate.
God tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that a “great falling away” from all things holy and righteous” would be happening before our Lord’s return for His Church. You could easily write a book on all the different ways that humanity is falling deeper and deeper into spiritual darkness, both in the Church and outside the Church. Remember, mighty man or woman of God … God will reward us for our faithfulness to His call upon our lives; not how many are receptive to what we have to offer in Jesus Christ.
God will also reward you in eternity for staying pure – staying free from sin. Staying pure from sexual sin is becoming one of the most difficult temptations believers are having to deal with, and I have some sobering news: It is ONLY going to grow more difficult to stay free from sexual sins! (Yes, masturbation is a sexual sin. Satan refers to it as “the innocent little secret sin no one needs to know about.”). So … fight early and fight hard by the help of the Holy Spirit to remain pure, saints. Satan knows how to take advantage of our discouragement, saints, and sexual gratification is one of his greatest lures to fill our “discouragement vacuum.”
Certainly God does reward us to different degrees in this life. If He didn’t, I daresay most would stop serving Him. (If we only could SEE how many times His angels have protected us from evil attacks from demons, our restraining our flesh from having its way, we might be GREATLY astounded just how much God is rewarding us in this life after all!). But this is not our heaven, saints. As the Bible says, we are aliens and strangers here in this sin-sick world. This is not our home. We’re only passing through, for a short while.
It IS the only heaven the heathen will know, which is why they usually seem to be blessed far more than what Christians are. They are receiving their reward now, in this life. Not so you and I. Our rewards are being laid up in heaven for us … where we will have the capacity to benefit from them to the fullest (Hint: Glorified bodies) - for all eternity!
So … keep persevering, saint of the most high God. After you have done the will of God, once your life here on earth is over, you will be rewarded beyond your wildest comprehension. It will take all of eternity to express your appreciation to God for how He plans on rewarding you, by the way, because the joy it will give you and God and others will only keep expanding and expanding and expanding …
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts; and then each one’s praise will come from God. – 1 Cor. 4:5
Here is a more thorough look at eternal rewards, for anyone interested: http://www.epm.org/articles/rewards2.html
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