But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV).
There is no man of God who has not experienced discouragement in his work. It sometimes comes in unexpectedly. It plunges a man into the valley of despair and doubt as no other thing does.
Sometimes it can be so devastating that a man of God would be tempted to seriously doubt whether he was ever called by God!
Here, King Asa is being encouraged by prophet Azariah. He came to encourage the king immediately after a victory in war. We might wonder why the king needed encouragement after a victory?
It was because the king, from the moment he began to rule, had tried to bring the people back to God. He was taking bold steps in this direction.
And after a period of rest from enemies for ten years, there suddenly was this war. It might have caused the king to doubt as to whether he should continue the reforms or not. Hence the encouragement at this time.
Sometimes discouragement steps in during moments of victory too. It is very powerful and can paralyze even the most efficient worker of God. So this message of encouragement is specially timely for those of you who are discouraged at this point of time. This message is specially relevant for those of you who have not seen the fruit of your work even after faithful labor for many years.
God is encouraging you today to be strong. He is asking you not to give up. He wants you to hold on. He wants you to know that every setback that you have faced has a higher purpose in His plan.
If you keep on working in spite of every discouragement, that day will surely come when you will be rewarded.