Dear Pastor, Friend, and “Good and Faithful Servant”,
God is good and greatly to be praised!
Today, both Carmen and I are in a conference for missionaries from 6 countries and of several mission groups. We are being served by a team of dedicated and highly qualified men and women who are committed to strengthening our hands for ministry. We are being blessed!
You have been on our hearts in prayer. We are sensing somewhat of the struggles, burdens, challenges, temptations, and testings of faith and obedience you are experiencing right now. Know that your walk is not unique. This letter is written to bring encouragement to you. Christ’s promise of rewards is not based on positions, whether they be apostles, prophets, evangelists, etc … but to “good and faithful servants”, which we all can become. He makes no distinctions as to size of church, academic qualifications, popularity, extent of ministry, oratorical skills, or the circle of influence, but to “good and faithful servants”. He is not impressed with our style, eloquence, or the profundity of our message. You may be well known or hardly known at all. You may be in the center of ecclesiastical activity and importance or you may be either avoided or passed over. God will reward the “good and faithful servants”.
Some of you are discouraged, disappointed, beaten down. You have been betrayed. You may be sitting under a “juniper tree”. You are feeling the deafening cry of retreat and abandonment of your post. Know that the Lord will honor and reward you with or without high emotions or visible signs of “success” compared by the carnal standards of man; He rewards “good and faithful servants”. Our primary, priority, and preeminent relationship is with Him, His Word, and Spirit, and not with the ever increasing performance demands of men, methods, or machinery.
Don’t give up, valiant soldier of God. God will be a debtor to no man. Your reward is not present but future. The “race” is not yet over and your “course” has not yet been run. The Lord is your Glory and the “Lifter of your head”. The battles you are facing are not with “flesh and blood”. Neither will your victory come in the carnal weapons of warfare. You may consider yourself an “unprofitable servant”, but the Lord Who knows your heart and your struggles will reward you who are “good and faithful servants”. You may not be able to conquer your city now, but one day you will … the “good and faithful servants” shall rule over cities, maybe even the one you are laboring now so desperately to bring under the Lordship of Christ. The rewards are for battles won and for your faithful responses to the grace gifts of God. Continue to pray, plough, plod, and persist … you shall prevail to the victor’s crown by the “blood of the Lamb and by the Word of your testimony”.
It is still the “lame that take the prey”. In your weakness, His strength is made perfect, for when you are weak, He is strong. In your experiencing the dying of the Lord Jesus, the life of Jesus is made manifest in your body and ministry.
God’s love for you is constant, unconditional, and eternal—even with failures, weaknesses, and sins. You are more important to Him than the ministry, the Church building, or the approval or disapproval of men or monuments. The Cross proves it and the blood pays for it! He longs for your intimacy and “joys over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
Take courage and look up! The “Captain of the Lord of Hosts” is with you for battle. The great High Priest is with you for comfort, identification with your trials and the feelings of your infirmities, and intercession. The good, great, and chief Shepherd is with you for provision, strength, leadership, help, protection, feeding, rest, and Hope to the end. He is sufficient! He goes BEFORE His own. When we follow Him in love, faith, and obedience, He promises not “success” from the human perspective, but continued revelation of Himself (John 14:21; Psa. 25:12-14), rewards for the “overcomers”, and an eye for the “Glory” (John 17:24)!
Brother & fellow-laborer & pilgrim,
Reuben J. Sequeira