The Hope of Work

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The Holy One has given us His work to do on this earth.

Scripture of the Day:

Galatians 6:9

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I am sure this will seem odd to some, but I love work. I see it as a challenge and a discipline to create something of worth, first and foremost, to my God, and secondarily to my employer. Work is ultimately serving someone – will we do it well?

But maybe you’re reading this today and you don’t have much motivation to work. You hate your job. It seems mundane, pointless. At least until we understand the heart of God as it relates to work. He knew there was intrinsically something about work that we needed.

I have had a lot of jobs in my time – hostess, waitress, sales clerk at a clothing store, model, bank teller, housekeeper, Momma (this incorporates a lot of job titles), teacher, musician, choral and band director, Founder and Director of an educational organization, private lesson teacher, administrative and executive assistant, worship leader, speaker and author. But it was when I was changing diapers and scrubbing toilets with seemingly no thanks whatsoever that God gave me a clear vision for work. The work I was doing – cleaning puke and wiping the snot from my children’s noses? It was holy. Work matters to God and He made us to work. The Holy One has given us His work to do on this earth.

We all are perhaps aware of the warnings in Scripture for those who are not diligent in their work. After all, one who is slack in his work is brother to the destroyer (Proverbs 18:9). We certainly don’t want to be labeled as a destroyer. Kind of a synonym for – you know – the evil one. Sound drastic?

Motivation to work can come from the many passages that command us to be diligent, but sometimes we just need the motivation of knowing our work matters. Mundane or sublime, all that we do is significant in the eyes of our Creator Who created the work for us to do ahead of time.

Maintaining a positive attitude for work has to be cultivated as part of our lifestyle. The flesh is the culprit discouraging a great work ethic, but it can be overcome by the grace of God. Looking at some of the promises that work can give us, offers us hope in the day-in, day-out work routine of life.

Work develops skills.

Proverbs 22:9

“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

Even when our tasks seem humble, over time, we are developing skills that ultimately can lead to a promotion or serve a cause greater than we could imagine. Giving our very best might even serve as a testimony of our sincere faith and bring someone to know God.

God establishes our work.

Psalm 90:17

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.”

The work we do might be forgotten tomorrow, especially if it is done with carelessness. But when we work as unto the LORD, He sees and rewards us. He establishes the work of our hands and gives us favor in our work. No work is meaningless when it is in accordance with His will.

Work provides.

Proverbs 12:11

“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

There is never an end to the expenses life brings. We all have to work to provide and God made it so. We don’t have to resent this fact, but rather can be grateful for the work that enables us to provide.

Work brings us joy.

Ecclesiastes 2:24

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”

When we work hard, we appreciate the fruit of our achievements. If everything were to be given to us, we would ironically not have the joy we do from having earned it. Joy is a gift from God for the diligent worker and character is the beautiful fruit of all our endeavors.

Work brings a blessing.

Psalm 128:2

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

If our work is for the purpose of the pursuit of our own extravagant blessing, we miss the point. Our work will bless us, but when we bless others with the fruit of our hands, we are doubly blessed, too. Working gives us the capacity to bless.

We are His workmanship.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

It is comforting to know that the work we are doing God prepared for us to do, before we ever were. Blows the mind. That must make our work important.

Work Glorifies God.

Matthew: 5:16

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

There is no greater motivation than to know that what I am doing is bringing God glory. To be able to provoke someone to praise God by our work? Eternal.

Passing the Torch.

As a parent, sometimes I hate to ask my children to do chores. This is part of the enablement that can slip in when you see your children have joined the workforce and are balancing it with school. But this mentality teaches children that work is a bummer. If we are not careful, this same mentality can slide over to their school work and jobs, as well. Perhaps if it were named “delight” or “party time” work would be viewed differently. We set an example for our children in our work ethic, too. Complaining about work stems from an entitlement attitude. But putting on the gratitude of being able to serve? Our children “catch” this better than mere instruction.

We are all called to work because like our Creator, we are called to serve. Our work is holy because of the One Who gave it to us to do. This gives us hope that the work we do has purposes far beyond the here and now. God sees our efforts and is faithful to reward us. How amazing that He enables us to work and then lets us work for Him. Our work is an investment now in the lives of ourselves and our loved ones, but also for the Kingdom of God.

Lord, thank You for the gift of work and the ability to work. When we don’t understand the purpose of our work, help us to remember You have purposes far beyond merely getting tasks done. May we work diligently for Your glory alone.

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