We Reap the Full Harvest Of the Good Only if We Persevere; The Evil Comes to Harvest on Its Own
This is a sobering principle of life. Scripture and the experience of life itself teach us that we reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere, but evil naturally comes to harvest on its own. It doesn't need our help. This is easily illustrated in gardening. It takes perseverance in cultivation to keep the weeds out and provide for conditions that promote healthy growth and fruitful plants, but weeds will naturally grow and take over a garden without doing a single thing.
When it comes to knowing God's Word, we face a number of problems:
I. The Principle of Perseverance
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal 6:9-10)
A. We cannot plant a garden and then just forget it.
1. If we do, very little will come from the planting because of the many forces that work against a good harvest.
2. A garden requires continuous labor and care in order to reap an abundant harvest.
3. This is true in the spiritual world as well as in the physical world.
4. Whether we are sowing the seed of God's Word in the soil of human hearts or simply sowing seed in one's garden in the backyard we are faced with opposition.
Note: Mark 4:14-20
B. With building we are always faced with the need for battling the forces of evil.
1. This is illustrated graphically in the life of Nehemiah when he was leading the people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
2. They had to rebuild the wall "with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon" (cf. Neh. 4:1-23).
3. This means the need for watchfulness and perseverance.
II. The need for this exhortation.
A. Because of our natural tendencies.
1. We tend to slack off, because it is hard work.
2. We usually do not see immediate results because it takes time to grow a crop.
3. As a result, we tend to grow weary in the work.
B. Because of the actions of our spiritual enemy.
1. Satan sow tares right in the midst of our good sowing.
2. Further, he attempts to get us to stop sowing or cultivating through the many problems we face that tend to produce discouragement.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." (Eccl 11:1)
3. Note the phrase that speaks to our return on our investment or effort: "... find it after many days."
4. Sometimes we do not see results in this life at all.
C. To draw our attention to the need and the problem we face, Paul used two words to warn and encourage us against giving up in favor of perseverance.
1. "Let us not be weary..."
a. This word means "to cease, give up, lose heart, despair."
b. It is used elsewhere in the Scripture as a warning against fainting or giving up.
c. In 2 Thess. 3:13 Paul exhorts the believers against growing weary in doing good.
2. "...if we faint not."
a. The first word stresses the idea of discourage-ment, a failure of the will.
b. The second word stresses failure in spiritual strength.
c. While hard work now will produce proportionate abundance later, Paul is challenging us to remember that failing to persevere now will also produce proportionate poverty later.
d. "For in due season" refers to the harvest time.
e. This is God's appointment, and cannot be changed by us.
f. "In due season" refers to a right, proper, or a favorable time.
III. Our Opportunity.
A. Note v10
1. The word "opportunity" is the same word used in v9 for "due season".
2. So we see there is a proper time to work, and a proper time to harvest the result of our labors.
3. We cannot have the one without the other!
B. Our opportunity to do good is now, the harvest will come later.
1. The need is perseverance in sowing.
2. It's seldom easy, and sometimes we don't see the fruit of our labors in this life.
3. Where does perseverance come from?
a. It comes from knowing God through the Word and leaning on His promises by faith.
b. It ultimately boils down to faith and staying focused on the Lord and His person, plan, promises, and purposes as given to us in Scripture.
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Rom 15:4)
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor 15:58)
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:2-4)
"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." (Psa 138:8)