God rewards faithfulness. He is faithful and expects us to be. When we do not live up to His standards, He reprimands us (or usually allows it to catch up to us) as any very good Father would. But when we are faithful, whether faithful at work, to our spouse, in business, with money, with worship, with stewardship, with using the gifts for good, etc., God rewards us! How? Heaven is the obvious answer but that is far off for some of us. No, I mean now. He rewards us with peace of mind, deep healing sleep, more energy, joy, contentment, success, understanding. It is beautiful!
I am not the prettiest gal in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am very attractive but not because I am pretty, it is because I am weird and real and fun. But the ugly I speak of is not the shallow appearance. I have seen ugly spew forth from the ugly heart of people, a lot lately. People who whine about the result of an election and think because they didn’t get what they want, they deserve to hurt other people. Like they matter more than another human God made. How deceived are these people. I have seen ugly people bullying people because they are there different or better than they are. There is a deception that putting someone down lifts you up. The inverse is true. Those who humble themselves will be lifted up and those who elevate themselves will be brought low. That is the truth of the matter. God rewards those who do the right thing, more so when they are persecuted for it. God is good and that ugly will be slammed down eventually. Better to change on your own and become a servant of God rather than risk becoming an eternal slave to separation from Him later when it lasts longer. Something to think about.
I have never tasted or smelled or looked at a truffle. Great chefs seek them out, pay a fortune for them and wow their patrons. My mind cannot comprehend a mushroom worth $250 an ounce or whatever ridiculous amount it is. I thought $4 for a package of portabellas is a lot. But I got to thinking that maybe the worth of the truffle comes from how hard it is to obtain it. Its rarity and struggle to find and dig them up, the research and investigation and pain and agony and most of all time it takes to get these shrooms tells a great story. Maybe the priceless value of health lies in the cost of the prior accumulation of sicknesses, building up your immune system one antibody at a time. Maybe the value of extreme happiness of a loving relationship comes at the cost of many failed attemps and struggles. Maybe the good can only be valued and esteemed highly after the struggle through the bad. The good news is the good news. The struggle is worth it later. At the time will frustrate the heck out of you and cost a lot up front but in the end you get the best or your perception of the best. Good things really do come to those who wait and are consistent a d work through challenges. It is worth it. Do not under any circumstance give up.
Many many times in this world, utilizing the eyeballs in our heads, we do not see rewards for good deeds done. Sometimes, more often now than before in our upside down world where wrong is celebrated and right is belittled we are ridiculed or accosted for good deeds. Often, there is a wonder at why we should bother doing good deeds when they are ignored, unappreciated, punished. I wondered that today once. Why bother? No one cares either way. No one even notices. My employer of old used to say that appreciation only exists until the customer steps outside so don’t do any favors. I completely ignored his cynicism and continued to help when I could. Why? Why bother? The easy answer is because I follow the teachings of Christ Jesus. The Bible tells me to do good deeds. Why? To be applauded and appreciated by man? Nope. We do good deeds because we are told to for the sake of God’s kingdom which is greater than any one of us. We work for God. He is the One we are serving and obeying. And guess what. He has promised an eternity of rewards for those unappreciated and persecuted good deeds done here on this earth. I would much rather have an eternity (which is a very very long time) with peace and reward from the Creator than years of praise from other created beings. If you look at it that way, with an eternal perspective, it becomes much much easier to do the right thing in life.
I love chocolate. Specifically, I love dark chocolate mostly but any chocolate that is real and alone will do. Now, the downside to my love of chocolate is my strong dislike of the consequences of having too much. For instance, I break out and my clothes get smaller overnight. Now, relying too much on anyone thing for happiness is completely foolish unless that thing you are relying on is an eternal and good thing. Otherwise your reliance is founded in something temporary, something evil (the opposite of good). This makes sense, right? So my reliance on chocolate to make me happy or alcohol or drugs or gambling or pornography or other things would expend energy that could be used for lasting and good purposes to bring glory to and worship God and instead distorts, damages, delays, detracts and completely screws up your life eventually for the enemy’s gain and laughter at your falling for it again. The opposite of good is evil. There is a definite and consistent stark contrast in the Bible between good and evil. There are not varying shades of evil or varying shades of good. It is either good or it is evil. That is truth. So, if the reach isn’t for something or someone good, we are reaching for something or someone evil. And anytime we take our chances and run with the evil side because it feels good to do so or has become habit or is familiar and comfortable, we enable the enemy a door to sections of our soul and spirit and help him in his work of killing us. The enemy, Satan, and his spiritual army only seek to destroy the amazing and beautiful people God made and loves. In contrast, when we resist the devil, he flees because he has to. He has already been defeated. So, resisting evil on purpose and reaching for good and eternal things and People will bring peace and love and joy and blessings and a purity renewed that is splendid and healthy. We get to pick. However, we must pick on purpose or it will be picked for us. God gives us the tools we only need open the toolbox and use them to receive the benefits. Prayer, salvation, repentance, Bible study, worship, church support and involvement, service, work. These things are all tools for lasting good and eternal beauty. So great a gift!