Hard work…was not something to be feared.”
–Elmer Kelton (Llano River)
“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”
“Life is living!” said the Rev. G.R. Kelly, my pastor as a youth. Living, but how? It’s our choice how we live. We can live down in the mully-grubs, or we can have a victorious life in Christ. The choice is ours and that includes during the tough times.
Many years ago I did a brief study on work. People seem to grumble and complain about their work more than anything, but if it is taken away or they are fired they grumble even more. Or that used to be the case until the progressive democrats (socialists) came on the scene. They want something for nothing, but that’s not the way it is to be. This study came about from another study I was in the process of doing on the Fruit of the Spirit. One characteristic of the Fruit is Joy. We usually get joy confused with happiness though there can be a combination of the two at times. However, the purest form of natural joy is joy in work–a job well done. Of course the purest form of real joy is found in Jesus Christ.
“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”
–Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NKJV)
The New Living Translation says, nothing is better than “to find satisfaction in his work.” Listen friend, life is work. It is important, first of all to find the job where the Lord wants you, then second to enjoy your work. Yes, yes, there will be “those days,” when your work is not satisfying and you may have a boss or coworker that grates on your nerves, but never forget who you are really working for. This lesson was brought home to me in 1974 when I was in the Air Force and stationed at the Air Force Academy. Out in the field one day I distinctly heard a voice–“Who are you working for? The Air Force, your boss, or Me?” It was a lesson I never forgot.
We must always remember that the blessings and possessions and goods of life are a gift from God. Life, therefore, is a gift from God and we must look to Him to work out His purpose in us. In saying that, I will go further, our career, our job is a gift from God, make the best out of it for His glory. To despise the gifts, whether blessings or a job, is to despise the Giver.
But man wants to go his own way. I want this, I want that. This is the job I want, but by Friday you’re tired of it already. Oh, give me the weekend where I can party-hardy and come Monday I’m wasted and cannot go to the job that I was entrusted with. Eating, drinking, and working–all activities in life–can bring satisfaction only if one has a personal relationship with God. Only He enables us to find enjoyment in life.
“Isn’t it strange that the more you run after life, panting after every pleasure, the less you will find, but the more you take life as a gift from God’s hand, responding in thankful gratitude for the delight of the moment, the more life seems to come to you?”
–Ray C. Stedman
Live in faith, even in your work. God gives wisdom, knowledge, joy, and peace to those who in faith please Him. We must understand that we are stewards and that the Master has placed us in certain positions, jobs if you will, to first glorify Him, then to learn the lessons of life. Enjoy the little things in life, but always in Christ. Enjoy your position in life for it is where God has placed you, then continue to prepare yourself for an opportunity. It is God alone–not things, not wisdom, not wealth–is the giver of satisfaction and joy.
Charles Colson said, “Life isn’t a book. Life isn’t logical, or sensible, or orderly. Life is a mess most of the time. And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess.” Wherever we are, whatever we do we are to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever!”