As you look at your life, are you discouraged because of failed expectations? You may have prayed for years, but the things you believed God for have not come to pass. The enemy may be whispering, “You haven’t been effective at all; in fact, your life has not made any difference in the world.”
If you are enduring such feelings, take heart, because you are in good company. Many great servants of God throughout history ended up feeling they failed in their calling. When the prophet Elijah looked at his life, he felt like such a failure that he cried out, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life” (1 Kings 19:4). He felt like everything he had done for the Lord had been in vain.
King David became so despondent over what he believed was a wasted anointing on his life that he wanted to fly away like a bird to an isolated place: “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (Psalm 55:6).
Even the great apostle Paul trembled in fear at the thought of having spent his life as a useless laborer. He wrote to the Galatians, “I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Galatians 4:11).
Beloved, the devil is lying to you, saying that all you have done is in vain. We know from Isaiah that the Lord knows your battle because he fought it before you. But Jesus showed us the way out of such despondency with this statement: “I have labored in vain … yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, and my work with my God” (Isaiah 49:4).
Do not listen to the enemy’s lies; instead, rest in the Holy Spirit, believing him to fulfill the work of making you more like Christ. Rise up and stand on this word: “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).