Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7, KJV)
Have you ever been discouraged and felt like giving up? Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a goal, or a dream, we all reach a point of hopelessness where we feel like giving up. At times like these, it can be difficult to find the strength and courage to keep going. Thankfully, God has given us a promise in 2 Chronicles 15:7: “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” This powerful Scripture is an encouragement to those of us who struggle to find the motivation not to give up. In this article, we will explore the meaning of 2 Chronicles 15:7 and how this verse can help us stay strong in the Lord and never give up.
Our key verse today is about strength and courage in challenging times.
The words in 2 Chronicles 15:7 were spoken to Asa by Azariah the prophet. King Asa was a king of Judah who is mentioned in the Bible in the book of 2 Chronicles. According to the account in 2 Chronicles 14-16, King Asa was a reformer who sought to purify and strengthen the kingdom of Judah by eliminating idolatry and uniting the people under God.
The kingdom of Judah then was at its lowest point religiously and politically. The people of God in Judah had sunk deep into idolatry and superstition.
Asa ascended to the throne determined to reverse the gains made by paganism during the nation’s moral decline that was led by the preceding kings.
King Asa encountered opposition from unwilling and uncooperative subjects within his own realm. For instance, some of the people who refused to give up their idolatrous practices opposed him when he tried to remove the high places (Places of idol worship) from Judah.
Despite his good intentions and willingness to implement religious reform in his kingdom, Asa encountered stiff opposition.
King Asa’s Challenges
King Asa was a man under siege or pressure from multiple fronts.
King Asa faced several challenges during his reign as king of Judah, in addition to the resistance he encountered in his efforts to eliminate idolatry and reform the kingdom. Some of these challenges included:
King Asa faced threats from neighboring nations, including the kingdom of Israel, which waged war against Judah. King Asa was able to secure victory in these battles through his reliance on God and his efforts to unite the people of Judah in their defense.
King Asa also faced challenges from within his own kingdom, including conflict with his own family members.
In 2 Chronicles 16, it is mentioned that King Asa became diseased in his feet, which hindered his ability to lead and defend the kingdom. Despite this, he continued to rely on God and seek His guidance in leading the kingdom.
Resistance from His Own Family:
King Asa also faced challenges from within his own family. For example, according to 2 Chronicles 16, his own mother, Maacah, was involved in idolatry and was eventually removed from her position as queen mother because of her disobedience.
Asa battled with self-doubt because idol worship was now deeply entrenched in the lives of his people and it wasn’t easy swimming against the current. King Asa had no godly King in his lineage to emulate or mentor him save for King David – his great-great-grandfather. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather led the people astray. Asa was out on a mission to undo generational evils.
Despite this, King Asa remained committed to his reforms and continued to work to purify and strengthen the kingdom of Judah.
God’s Encouragement to Asa
Asa needed a word of encouragement. Asa needed a word from the Lord to strengthen his hands in eradicating idol worship.
God sent His word to Asa through the mouth of Azariah the prophet who assured Asa of divine approval. Azariah told Asa that God recognized his efforts to bring idolatry to an end. He told Asa that he was on the right track:
He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. (2 Chronicles 15:2 NIV).
God’s promise was that He would be with Asa as long as he stayed on course to follow the ways of the Lord.
This divine approval and assurance was the motivation that Asa needed to double up his efforts in his fight against idolatry.
God’s Promise Emboldens Asa
The biblical passage goes on to say:
When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple. (2 Chronicles 15:8, KJV).
God’s word emboldened Asa to continue with work of reform. God’s promise strengthened his resolve.
Asa’s reforms in 2 Chronicles 15 were a great success. He reinstated the worship of the Lord, removed foreign idols from the land, and destroyed the places of false worship. He also declared that everyone in Judah should seek the Lord with all their heart and soul, and that anyone who did not would be punished.
Asa also removed the high places, desecrated the shrines and images of false gods, and commanded all Judah to follow the Lord. Furthermore, Asa made peace treaties with surrounding nations and fortified Judah’s cities.
These reforms brought great peace and prosperity to Judah.
In our key text, Azariah the prophet assures Asa that his efforts would be rewarded. This raises the question: “What was Asa’s reward for his faithfulness to God?” According to 2 Chronicles 15:15, Asa was rewarded with rest from all his enemies. We read:
Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side. (2 Chronicles 15:15; 14:7 NIV)
The phrase “rest on every side” in this verse means Asa’s kingdom was at peace with its neighbors. God rewarded King Asa with a peaceful reign.
God also rewarded Asa with a long and prosperous reign. He reigned for forty one years:
Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. (2 Chronicles 16:13 NIV)
So what was king Asa’s reward? Asa’s reward was two fold: a peaceful and prosperous reign, and longevity of life.
Asa’s obedience to God’s command to remove all idolatrous objects and to renew the altar of the Lord brought him God’s favor and blessing.God gave Asa many victories on the battlefield as a reward for his dedication.
God’s Message to Us
God’s message to King Asa reminds us:
- To be courageous when doing that which is right even when it is unpopular.
- To seek God’s perspective and guidance in decision-making instead of relying on our own understanding
- To perseverance in the face of resistance or opposition.
- To remain patient and focused on our mission even when no one supports it
- To count on God’s provision that He will help us overcome challenges and achieve our goals.
Life Lessons from Asa’s Experience
We learn the following from the Asa’s experience:
- God honors His promises to His people
- God’s seal of approval is the key to success
- God rewards commitment, dedication, and hard work.
- Having no mentor or role model to emulate or guide you in life is not a setback. God will be your guide.
- God will put us in contact with people who will inspire us to greatness, just as he did for King Asa through Azariah the prophet.
A Work to be Done, A Reward to Obtain
We, too, have work to do in the form of the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). God has promised both a kingdom and a recompense. The apostle Paul reminds us of God’s reward in 2 Timothy 5:8:
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ( 2 Timothy 5:8 NIV)
God still rewards courage and commitment. The crown of righteousness motivates us, but not as much as God’s love as revealed in Christ.
When the devil tempts you to give up, remember today’s key verse:
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV)
In conclusion, 2 Chronicles 15:7 is a promise from God to those who are feeling like giving up. It encourages us to remain strong and not give up, as our work will be rewarded.
We should not be discouraged by resistance or opposition from our loved ones. Instead, we should keep pushing forward and remain committed to the cause that God has chosen for us, regardless of the opposition.
Father God, thank You for Your promise in 2 Chronicles 15:7. Help us to remain strong and to not give up, no matter what obstacles stand in our way. Give us wisdom and courage to move forward even when it feels like we are up against impossible odds. Remind us that our work will be rewarded, and that You are with us every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.