Let Us Not Grow Weary

by Thomas Watson

"And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9

In the verses before the text, the Apostle had laid down a proposition, "What a man sows that shall he reap," verse 7. He who sows in sin—shall reap in sorrow. He who sows the seeds of grace—shall reap glory. There is the proposition.

In the text, the Apostle makes the application: "Let us not be weary in well-doing." We who have sown the good seed of repentance and a holy life, "Let us not be weary; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." There is in the text, then,

I. The exhortation: "Let us not be weary."

II. The argument: "We shall reap in due season."

I. The exhortation. "Let us not be weary."

There is something implied—that we are apt to be weary in well-doing.

There is something expressed—that we ought not to be weary in well-doing.

1. The thing implied—we are apt to be weary in well-doing. This weariness is not from the regenerate part but the fleshly part; as Peter's sinking in the water was not from faith in Christ, but from fear. This weariness in a Christian course is occasioned from four things:

(1) From the revilings of the world. Psalm 71:10, "My enemies speak against me." Innocence is no shield against reproach. But why should this make us weary of well-doing? Did not Jesus Christ undergo reproach for us, when the Jews put a crown of thorns on His head, and bowed the knee in scorn? Is it any dishonor to us to be reproached for doing that which is good? Is it any disparagement to a virgin to be reproached for her beauty and chastity? We should bind our reproaches for Christ—as a crown about our head. Now a spirit of glory rests upon us. 1 Peter 4:14, "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." He who clips our credit to make it weigh lighter—makes our crown heavier.

(2) That which is apt to occasion weariness in well-doing, is the present sufferings we are exposed to. 2 Corinthians 4:8, "We are troubled on every side." But why should this make us weary in well-doing? Is not our life a warfare? It is no more strange to meet with sufferings for Christ—than for a mariner to meet with storms, or a soldier to meet with bullets. Do we not consider upon what terms we are entered into religion? Did we not vow in baptism to fight under Christ's banner? Does our Lord not tell us that we must take up the cross and follow Him? Matthew 16:24. Is not this part of the legacy Christ has bequeathed us? John 16:33. We would like to partake of Christ's glory—but not of His sufferings. Besides, does not many a man suffer for his sins? Do not men's lusts bring them to an untimely end? Do men suffer for their sins—and do we think it too much, if we suffer for Christ? How did Paul rejoice in sufferings! 2 Corinthians 7:4. How did he glory in it! "As a woman that is proud of her jewels," said Chrysostom. Why should sufferings make us faint? Who would not be willing to tread upon a few thorns, who is going to a kingdom!

(3) That which is apt to occasion weariness in well-doing, is the deferring of the reward. We are apt to be discouraged and grow weary—if we do not immediately have what we desire. We are all for present pay. But consider, first, that our work is not yet done. We have not yet finished the faith. The servant does not receive his pay, until his work is done. Even Christ's reward was deferred until He had done His work. When He had completed our redemption and said upon the cross, "It is finished"—then He entered into glory.

Second, God defers the reward—to make heaven more welcome to us. After all our praying, weeping, and suffering—how sweet will the joys of paradise taste!

(4) That which is apt to occasion weariness in well-doing, is the greatness and difficulty of a Christian's work. But why should this make us weary? Difficulty whets a noble mind. The soldier's life has its difficulties, but they raise his spirits the more. He loves to encounter hardship and will endure at bloody fight for a golden harvest. Besides, where the least principle of grace is, it renders the way of religion easy and pleasant. When the magnet draws—it is easy for the iron to move. When God's Spirit draws—we move in the way of religion with ease and delight. Christ's service is freedom. Psalm 119:45, "I will walk at liberty." To serve God, to love God, to enjoy God—is the sweetest liberty in the world. Besides, while we serve God—we gratify ourselves. When a man who digs in a mine sweats—he gets gold; while we glorify God—we promote our own glory.

2. There is something expressed—that we ought not to be weary in well-doing. We should not grow weary in a Christian course. We should not tire in our race. "Let us not be weary in well-doing". The Greek word "to be weary" signifies to shrink back like a coward in a war. Let it not he thus with us; let us not shrink back from Christ's colors. Hebrews 4:14, "Let us hold fast our profession." We must not only hold forth our profession—but hold fast our profession. The crown is not given to him who fights—but to him who overcomes.

USE 1. Of reproof. It reproves such as are weary of well-doing. These are falling stars, 2 Timothy 4:10. Demas forsook God and, afterwards, became a priest in an idol temple. Hosea 8:3, "Israel has cast off the thing that is good." Many have thrown off Christ's livery; they have left off a holy course of life. They have turned to worldliness or wantonness. Galatians 5:7, "You did run well—who hindered you?" Why did you tire in your race? 2 Peter 2:21, "It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them."

USE 2. Of exhortation. Let us not be weary in well-doing. Consider:

1. The way of true religion is honorable. Shall we he weary of that which is noble? If indeed the Christian religion were a thing that would bring shame or loss as the ways of sin do—then we would have cause to desert it and grow weary of it; but it brings honor. Proverbs 4:9, "She shall give to your head an ornament of grace." Why then should we be weary of well-doing?

2. The beauty of a Christian is to hold on in piety, without being weary. Acts 21:16, "Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple." It is a beautiful sight to see silver hairs, crowned with golden virtue. The beauty of a thing is when it comes to be finished; the beauty of a picture is when it is drawn out in its full lineaments and laid in its orient colors. The beauty of a Christian is when he has finished his faith, 2 Timothy 4:7. It was the glory of the church of Thyatira that she kept her best wine until last. Revelation 2:19, "I know your works—your love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. Your last works are greater than the first."

3. Such as are weary of well-doing—it is a sign they never acted in religion from a choice, or from a principle of faith. Rather, they acted from the external spring of applause or preferment, so that, when these fail, their seeming goodness ceases.

4. God is never weary of doing us good. Therefore, we should not be weary of serving Him. A king who is continually obliging his subjects with gifts—those subjects have no cause to be weary of serving their prince.

5. If we grow weary and throw off religion, we make all we have done null and void. Ezekiel 18:24, "When the righteous turns away from his righteousness, all his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned." He who has been serving God and doing angel's work; if once he grows weary and desists, he unravels all his work and misses the recompense of reward. He who runs half a race, and then tires, loses the garland! Oh, what folly is it to do well awhile and, by apostasy—to undo all! As if the artist with a pencil should draw a fair picture—and then come with his sponge and wipe it out again.

6. Consider the examples of such as have continued their progress unweariedly in a Christian course. The Apostle sets before our eyes a cloud of witnesses, Hebrews 12:1, "Being compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run the race which is set before us." Let us run it with swiftness and constancy. How many noble martyrs and confessors of old have walked in the ways of God, though they have been strewn with thorns! They scorned preferments, laughed at imprisonments, and their love to Christ burned hotter than the fire! When Polycarp came before the proconsul who bade him deny Christ, he replied, "I have served Christ these eighty-six years, and He has not once hurt me. Shall I deny Him now?" Tertullian said that such was the constancy of the primitive saints, that the persecutors cried out, "What a misery is this, that we are more weary in tormenting them—than they are in enduring torment!" Let us tread in their steps who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.

7. It will be our comfort on our deathbed, to review a well-spent life. It was Augustine's wish that he might have a quiet, easy death. If anything makes our pillow easy at death, it will be this: that you have been unwearied in God's work. This will be a deathbed cordial. Did you ever know any to repent at death, that they had been too holy? Many have repented that they have followed the world too much—but not that they have prayed too much—not that they have repented too much. What has made death sweet but that they have finished their course and kept the faith.

8. Think of the great reward we shall have if we do not give over or grow weary—and that is glory and immortality. This glory is ponderous. It is called a weight of glory, 2 Corinthians 4:17. The weight adds to the worth. The weightier a crown of gold is, the more it is worth.

This glory is satisfying. Psalm 17:15, "I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness." This glory will abundantly recompense all our labors and sufferings. The joy of harvest, will make amends for all the labor in sowing. Oh, what harvest shall the saints reap! It will be always reaping time in heaven, and this reaping will be in due season. So the Apostle says in the text, "We shall reap in due season." The farmer does not desire to reap until the season. He will not reap his corn while it is green—but when it is ripe. Just so, we shall reap the reward of glory in due season. When our work is done, when our sins our purged out, when our graces are come to their full growth—then is the season of reaping. Therefore, let us not be weary of well-doing—but hold on in prayer, reading, and all the exercises of piety. We shall "reap in due season, if we faint not. "

II. The Argument. "We shall reap in due season." To keep us from fainting, know that the reward promised is very near. Roman 13:11, "Our salvation is nearer than when we believed." We are but within a few days march of the heavenly Canaan; it is but a few more prayers and tears shed—and we shall be perfect in glory! As that martyr Taylor said, "I have but one stile more to go over—and I shall be at my Father's house!" Wait but a while, Christians, and your trouble shall be over and your coronation-day shall come! Christ, who is the oracle of truth has said, "Surely I come quickly!" Revelation 22:20. Death's coming is sooner than Christ's personal coming—and then begins the saint's blessed jubilee.

QUESTION. What means shall we use that we may not wax weary in a Christian course?

ANSWER 1. Let us shake off spiritual sloth. Sloth says, "There is a lion in the way." He who is slothful will soon grow weary; he is more fit to lie on his couch—than to run a race! It is a strange sight to see a busy devil—and an idle Christian!

ANSWER 2. If we would not grow weary, let us pray for persevering grace. It was David's prayer, Psalm 119:117, "Hold me up—and I shall be safe." It was Beza's prayer, "Lord, perfect what You have begun in me." That we may hold on a Christian course, let us labor for three persevering graces: faith, hope, and love.

Faith keeps from fainting. Faith gives a substance to things not seen, and makes them to be as it were present, Hebrews 11. As a telescope makes those things which are at a distance near to the eye, so does faith. Heaven and glory seem near. A Christian will not be weary of service—who has the crown in his eye.

The second persevering grace is hope. Hope animates the spirits; it is to the soul as cork to the net—which keeps it from sinking. Hope breeds patience and patience breeds perseverance. Hope is compared to an anchor, Hebrew 6:19. The Christian never sins, but when he casts away his anchor of hope!

The third persevering grace is love. Love makes a man so that he is never weary. Love may be compared to the rod of myrtle in the traveler's hand, which refreshes him and keeps him from being weary in his journey. He who loves the world is never weary of following the world; he who loves God will never be weary of serving Him. The reason why saints and angels in heaven are never weary of praising and worshiping God, is because their love to God is perfect, and love turns service into delight. Get the love of God in your hearts—and you will run in His ways and not be weary!