- The Servant Songs
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But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” – Isaiah 49:4 (NIV)
Considering all of God’s preparation, protection, and empowerment, you would think his Servant would be able to give us a long and impressive list of accomplishments. However, here in the second Servant Song, it appears he has run into some difficulty in accomplishing his mission.
The Servant tells us, in a rather frank evaluation, that he might have actually failed to accomplish his mission. He tells us that he has worked hard for nothing; that the work has consumed his strength and he has nothing to show for it.
The Servant gives an honest evaluation of the situation, but it is important to note that he does not express discouragement or frustration. He is just giving us an honest evaluation that, in spite of all his efforts, the people are unwilling to hear what he has to say. If there is any disappointment, it is with the people, not his efforts.
He is God’s Servant, so rather than expressing frustration or discouragement, he simply reaffirms his confidence in God. He is confident that God will help him to accomplish his task, but knows that God will do it in his own time and in his own way. Additionally, he knows God will reward him for his efforts.
God has a task for all of us. No matter how hard we work, there will be times in our lives where we feel like we have been unsuccessful in the task God has given us. We become frustrated and discouraged, but we should not.
When God calls us to a task, he will also give us all that we need to accomplish that task. We need to be faithful and trusting, but we also have to realize that the results and the timing are in God’s hands. Therefore, as long as we remain trusting and faithful, there is no reason to become discouraged or frustrated.
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58b (NIV)