Corinthians 15:58 in the New Living Translation says this, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that NOTHING YOU DO FOR THE LORD IS EVER USELESS.“ (emphasis mine)
My guess is that you have a moment or even a season in your life when you felt like the things you did for the Lord were not accomplishing all that much. I have had many a young mother tell me that they don’t know why they come to a worship service because all they are doing is wrangling their child. I have had others talk about the fact that they don’t think they are making any impact whatsoever on the kid’s class or the middle school class they are teaching. They feel like the class isn’t listening and they are being completely ineffective in their efforts. Missionaries with little to no converts can often feel like failures or that all their effort simply isn’t “worth” it. I could go on…but you get the point. There are times when it feels like what we are doing in honor and service to God is useless.
This is why I love how the NLT translates 1 Corinthians 15:58. Did you catch that last sentence in the verse…NOTHING YOU DO FOR THE LORD IS EVER USELESS. Even when I may feel like I am constantly spinning my wheels, God says that is not true. NOTHING we do for the Lord is useless.
That conversation you had with your coworker that didn’t go well…it wasn’t useless. That prayer you prayed that wasn’t answered the way you wanted…it wasn’t useless. That time you got up early to read the word of God and you felt like you were reading the same sentence twelve times and just had trouble concentrating…it wasn’t useless. That stand you took that seemed to amount to nothing…it wasn’t useless.
What an incredible thing to know!!! NOTHING we do for God is useless. This is why Paul says earlier in that sentence that we can always work enthusiastically for the Lord!! When it comes to working for the Lord, we can do anything but fail!! While some things may be more effective than others, NOTHING we do for God is useless. Sometimes it may be nothing more than a lesson learned. Other times it will be a gained experience. Still, other times God will take our efforts, even the ones we think were failures, and turn them into so much more than we can imagine. So…KEEP AT IT. Keep working for the Lord. Keep trying new things to reach others. Keep praying, keep pushing forward, keep wrangling those kids, keep taking that stand. KEEP AT IT. Nothing is useless. Praise God…nothing is useless.