May He…supply and multiply the seed you have sown
and increase the fruits of your righteousness.
~2 Corinthians 9:10b
Have you sown and sown to no avail? Have the seeds you’ve planted not produced the smallest bit of growth? Do you feel like a discouraged farmer who sees no increase in his fields after months of working his land?
In 2 Corinthians 9:10, Paul refers to our righteousness. As Christians, we know we are only righteous because of Christ. God views us as righteous through the looking-glass that is Jesus and His death on the cross.
In our righteous relationship with God, He leads us to sow seeds into the lives of others for His name and kingdom. We sow in prayer (salvation of a spouse or prodigal child, healing for emotional brokenness), in giving (to a fledgling ministry or missionary), or by investing in relationships (honoring a difficult mother-in-law, staying in a one-way friendship, serving a prickly neighbor). We hope and expect to see the fruit of our labor. I know I do.
Unfortunately, our sowing can turn into a sort of long-suffering as nothing seems to change. We continue to pray, give and love, yet the person or situation stays stuck.
And like the farmer, we become discouraged by the lack of growth in our field.
I know this type of long-suffering. Someone I love seemed stuck, never-changing. I saw no fruit.
I wondered if I should continue in prayer, giving and investing. Was it all for naught?
I knew the answer of course. The Bible is full of scripture that teaches otherwise. Me of little faith.
Feeling discouraged, I asked God to show me the tiniest bit of growth and softening in this loved one. I asked God to show me that this person’s heart wasn’t completely shut off from Him. I asked God for fruit.
And you know what? God came through. My hope came in the form of a positive comment my loved one shared about a church. It was like a big, juicy peach on a hot summer day. It was exactly what I needed: encouragement to continue the sowing.
This prayer was the beginning. I’ve prayed for fruit in many long-suffering situations. The Lord has shown me glimpses of HIs hand at work – giving me the courage to press on – knowing that He is multiplying the seeds I’ve sown and increasing the fruits of my righteousness.
God knows my faith is shallow – needing a bloom after a long season of sowing.
Are you in a long-suffering tenure of praying, giving and investing? Need fruit? Ask Jesus to supply, multiply and show you sprouts on the seeds you have sown for Him in righteousness.
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