In my interaction with others I often say or hear “Hang in there!” In that phrase I intend or receive a word of encouragement and hope. There is a verse written to believers by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:9 that essentially says the same thing, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). It must be possible to become weary in doing good or the Apostle would not have given this note of encouragement and hope. Right?

But realize the encouragement is not “Do not become weary.” All of us get tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. Jesus got tired, and Jesus rested. And when we get tired we need rest. The fourth commandment is about having a balance in our lives in terms of work, worship, and rest.

The encouragement is “Do not become weary in doing good.” The reality is that we sometimes get discouraged in doing good. And I don’t know which comes first. Do we get discouraged and then become weary? Or do we become weary and then get discouraged? Probably both at times. Satan’s favorite tool may be discouragement.

It’s possible that discouragement will lead to giving up. The danger is to think, “I am tired of trying, nothing seems to be happening, I’m not making any progress—I should quit.” We either think it is too hard or taking too long and we are tempted to throw in the towel. And that’s when we need to hear “Hang in there!”

Paul gives us an exciting promise in this verse: “at the proper time we will reap a harvest.” The law of the harvest says we will eventually reap based on what we have planted. If we plant seeds of doing good we can look forward to and expect a harvest. This verse is not the promise of a problem free life or wealth and riches if we do good, but a promise of God’s blessing.

To “hang in there” we need the quality of perseverance. In his book Holy Sweat Tim Hansel writes about perseverance, “Most of the time it involves an amount of courage that we would never believe we could have. It’s a unique combination of patience plus endurance. It’s what makes life worthwhile in spite of adversity.” And it calls us to lean on and draw strength from the Lord.

We may be facing some challenges right now that are making us weary and discouraged. Some may have even considered giving up. But God hasn’t given up on us. “At the proper time we will reap a harvest.” Hang in there!

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