We live at a unique point in time. With a click, tap, and submit, we can virtually have anything we desire on our doorstep within 20 hours. Is this a good thing? Only time will tell. But we’ve all grown accustomed to instant gratification over and above delayed reward. Our hearts and minds are no longer in a state that sees why we should wait for anyone or anything. Yet, when we look at the scriptures, we see a different picture. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, being utterly worked to the bone with no rest. They had no idea when this would end, but they knew it would because their God had said, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings…” (Exodus 3:7). If you’re familiar with the story (or even if you’re not), God is the hero here. He makes himself known to Pharaoh and frees his people from bondage, yet the people still traveled for 40 years in the wilderness. But the beauty is that God was still with them, providing food for their hungry bodies, shade for their sunburned skin, and rest every week that they had forgotten existed because of their years of slavery in Egypt.

Maybe you’ve been in a season of drought that seemingly has no end. You’ve seen God do wonders in the past, but at this moment, you can’t seem to bring yourself to remember and savor his goodness. But, you continue to come on Sunday mornings, serve your family, love the people around you, because you know that those are good and beautiful things in the sight of God. Know this: even when you feel as though nobody sees you, acknowledges your hard work, or values what you bring to the table, God sees you. All the moments that helped out somebody that others weren’t around to see, God saw those. You’re simultaneously storing up treasures that will last you for eternity because of your current investments into others. The mantra of “do things out of the goodness of your heart, not to get anything” has some merit, but is only a half-truth. You should absolutely do things and invest your resources for the kingdom now because of the gifts you’ll receive later. You’re doing nothing but receiving greater joy in God, allowing others to experience his blessings through you, and building habits that keep the pace of your heart on the joy of God. Who wouldn’t want more of that?

Here are some questions to help inspire your heart to focus on joy and invest in the kingdom today.

  1. Do your current habits bring joy to yourself and others based on the promises of God?
  2. Are you investing only in yourself, or are you giving your time and resources towards the betterment of others?
  3. What can you start today or this week that is aimed towards building God’s kingdom?