“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).
These are words that we yearn to hear one day. Not only are these words spoken to Christ's servants who are ready to leave this world to be with Him, but they are also spoken for those who still serve Him in this world. They are not spoken to those who have been recognized by men for their good needs, but for those who have been recognized by God for what their heart has given. These encouraging words are for those who serve others in His name selflessly. They are for those who share His love wherever it is needed without seeking recognition. He says that the least in His kingdom on earth is among the greatest in heaven (Luke 9:48).
These words spoken in Matthew are also for those who quietly stand strong in His strength no matter what comes their way. Whatever suffering I quietly face–whatever I do in His name without notice, I will serve Him without the need of earthly recognition. My suffering or circumstance will spur me to serve, and His joy will come, not as a reward of what I have done, but as a reward of my heart given away in spite of my own pain.
If I serve Him faithfully here on earth, then I do enter into a fuller spiritual life of His joy. It is one where earthly recognition of service means nothing, but His recognition means everything. This world may never recognize my service for Him, but He knows, and He rewards, not with earthly fame or riches, but with the incredible gift of His joy. It is His joy that brings peace when facing pain. It is His joy that no one can steal from me. There is nothing on earth that offers His joy. “Enter thou into the joy of the Lord” takes on a whole new meaning. His Joy is real for me on earth.
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