“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master'” (Matthew 25:21, ESV).
Someone quietly serves and seeks no reward. Another unobtrusively loves and helps others. Someone else humbly “washes feet”. These are ones who are often passed by and go unnoticed. This morning these words in Matthew 25:21 are whispered to you who have, like the servant in the parable, invested your talents wisely. They are spoken to you who carry your cross faithfully with little recognition, and serve Christ no matter what your circumstance. They are spoken to you, who no matter what you quietly face, have faithfully handled each obstacle. He wants you to know that you have done well, and you can have His joyful assurance and peace.
Many times we hear these words in Matthew spoken in regard to those who have passed on to meet the Lord after a lifetime of faithful service, but these words also speak of entering His presence now. They speak of entering a life of deeper spiritual existence in Him. Serving Him with no need for anything else than just to serve Him brings you into a fuller life in His Spirit. Others may not see your commitment, your patient heart, and your quiet service, but He sees it. Your reward might not be recognition or wealth, but it is so much greater, and it is yours. It is His joy.
It is His joy complete with its abundant peace. It is His joy that brings a deeply spiritual exhilaration of confidence when faced with pain and suffering. It is His joy that no one can take away from you. His joy is the result of a deeper spiritual existence that comes through a quietly sacrificed and obedient life. It comes as a result of suffering that has been courageously faced. If He is your strength and courage through times of suffering, then His joy becomes your greatest reward. Entering into the joy of the Lord now is entering into a spiritually fulfilled life with Him here on earth. One day your life here will be completed, and you will know Him as He has always known you. That will be the ultimate joy. If you are a good and faithful servant who quietly and responsibly takes care of what God has entrusted to you, the joy of the Lord will be your strength to handle whatever life brings (Nehemiah 8:10). His peace will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). “Well done, good and faithful servant” will be more than words longing to be heard. You will know, with no earthly fanfare or recognition, that He is delighted with you.