It’s a popular argument… “The only reason people serve the Lord is because of the benefits and blessings they receive! Take those away and they’ll quit serving God in a minute!”
It’s an old argument – as old as the conversation and accusation Satan had with God Himself about ancient Job (Job 1:8-11)…
“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”
That argument “didn’t hold water” then – and it hasn’t “held water” since then, and it doesn’t “hold water” today! The case studies that rebut that argument abound!
I have had the privilege of ministry all over the world… I can tell you that some of the most devoted followers of the Lord serve Him REGARDLESS! Regardless of their annual income – they’re “dirt poor!” Regardless of gains – many have suffered loss! Regardless of popularity – they’re persecuted!” Regardless of unjust accusation – they’re often ridiculed! Regardless of the benefits – they’re viewed as having little or none! Regardless of health – many of them suffer pain! The fact is, with devotion, love, and faith they serve the Lord REGARDLESS! They are the noble “children of Job” and the Lord is proud to point out their faithfulness. They REFUTE the stupid arguments of “the Enemy!” They are those “Who are faithful unto death and receive a crown of life!” (Revelation 2:10) They are the ones who know “NOTHING can separate them from God’s love!” (Romans 8:35-39) They are the noble heirs of the faith of those in Hebrews 11 (especially verses 29-40)!
And as I stand on the cusp of 2023, I want to follow their noble example in all that life brings… all that Satan throws at God’s people… Don’t you?