“God . . will not forget how hard you have worked for Him.” Hebrews 6:10 NLT.
Anything done for another’s good will be neither unnoticed nor unrewarded by God.
Ever felt underappreciated? Most of us have. Spouses and parents often do, but friendships and social relationships can also result in an unexpected lack of appreciation, mostly unintended I choose to believe. A good and Godly habit for you to nurture is a simple, sincere “Thank you,” appropriate to every occasion. There will be times when you are thoughtful and helpful, choosing to be benevolent but the beneficiary takes you and your kindness for granted with little or no expression of thanks. Those are times when you might feel underappreciated, or maybe unappreciated altogether.
Be sure of this; your kindness may go unnoticed by men, but anything done in the Lord’s name will be neither unnoticed nor unrewarded by God. “For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.” Hebrews 6:10-11 NLT. People may fail to thank you but God observes and records what you have done sincerely and charitably. God does not forget the smallest good done in His name, even if offering just “a cup of cold water.” See Matthew 10:40-42 NLT.
Is the kindness you show others for your reputation and personal gratification, or for their appreciative response, or simply reflecting God’s goodness to you with only His “well done” expected for your satisfaction? When disappointed by someone’s lack of notice or gratitude, consider if you are preferring a person’s praise rather than God’s. Reflect on Paul’s practical guidance, “. . in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:22-24 NKJV) . . with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV. Recognition of good may not come at the time, in the manner, or from the person you expected, but God’s reward is sure. I remember my grandfather saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” In my life, I have found those words true.
Joseph is a good example of deferred but certain reward. In prison with Joseph for displeasing Pharaoh, the chief butler had a puzzling dream. Joseph discerned the dream was from God and said, “within three days Pharaoh . . will restore you to your place.” Read Genesis 40:1-23 NKJV. Joseph only asked, “Remember me when it is well with you . . mention me to Pharaoh . . Then Pharaoh restored the chief butler . . yet [he] did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” Ever feel that has happened to you? For two years, Joseph and his kindness were forgotten! Others might forget but God does not. Joseph’s kindness was not forgotten forever, and at precisely the right time God used Joseph’s underappreciated helpfulness to promote him from prison to prominence. See Genesis 41:9-41.
There are two lessons for consideration today: (1) Perfect genuine appreciation and practice sincere expression to God and others for every grace and generosity received. Read Proverbs 3:27 NKJV. (2) God remembers the good you’ve done for others even when they may themselves forget. “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of [patient endurance], so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV.
My prayer today is for you to prefer your praise and reward come from God before all others.