In Vain

By Ricky Smith

Galatians 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Have you ever been frustrated in your work?  Have you ever wanted to give it all up?  Have you ever sat down at your desk and started writing your resignation letter, only to throw it in the trashcan?  Have you ever felt like all of the energy you’ve spent was a waste?  If so, then you may have some idea of how the Apostle Paul felt, in Galatians 4:11.

Paul had invested enormous energy and time into the people of Galatia.  His work and ministry has seen fruit produced, as they responded to Christ.  His frustration is evident as he watches this church begin to slip back into their old tendencies.  As the Jewish traditions begin to be adopted by the Gentile church, Paul expresses deep frustration and fear.

This verse gives us a glimpse into the heart and emotion of Paul.  His passion for God’s mission consumed his life.  As one, involved in ministering to students for nearly twenty years, I can relate.  In ministry, those moments will come when we feel frustrated and ineffective.  We must remember that our battle is spiritual.  We must trust the Holy Spirit to change lives.  We must be faithful to preach the Gospel!


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