I Cor 15:58 "Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
I always loved this verse because it is such a shot in the arm when you start to get weary in ministry. But I never considered its context. This seems to be such a weird verse at the end of chapter 15.
Paul was just giving the Corinthian church a lesson on the resurrection. Apparently, not only did the Corinthian church have problems with behavior, but they also had problems with doctrine. There were some in that church who claimed that there was no resurrection from the dead. I am guessing that these were people who came over from the Saduceean belief that there was no resurrection. There is only one problem with that. If there is no resurrection, then Jesus didn't raise and if Jesus didn't raise then why in the world were they even meeting as a church? The whole basis for the Christian faith would be out the window. No resurrection, no living Savior. No living Savior, no hope, no forgiveness…total futility. But then comes this verse: "But now Christ is risen from the dead…". In other words, it doesn't really matter what some of you think, the truth is the truth and Jesus is alive. Paul saw Him, James saw Him, the apostles saw Him, 500 saw Him, the disciples saw Him, Peter saw Him. This was uncontroverted truth because there were so many people who witnessed Jesus alive after He died. And frankly, Paul's life was in jeopardy all the time because of this fact. If it wasn't true, why in the world risk death? But Paul did. In fact, everyday he knew that He could die because of what He was proclaiming. (vs30,31)
So how does verse 58 fit into all of this? Why be steadfast? Why be immovable? Why always overflow in God's business…even in the face of opposition? Because what they did was not going to go to waste. And why is that? Because Jesus is alive.
When I get tired, when I start to feel like I am burning out in doing God's business come back to this…Jesus is alive and because He is alive what I am attempting to do in His kingdom will not be in vain. So be steadfast…firm, be immovable…persistent, and abound and excel in God's work. When it is all said and done, because Jesus is alive, I will get to see results. He will do it because He lives and is still at work even now in 2011.