Any work can be an exciting adventure when we see how much it counts for eternity.
From young adulthood to retirement, work is the chief occupation of our lives. Some of us obtain great personal fulfillment from our labor. Others measure the value of work by income or type, while still others see it as no more than a time-filler. Understanding God’s perspective, however, can revolutionize our work experience as we see our labor filled with divine significance. As much as any other area of our lives, God wants our toil to display His handiwork.
Work Is God’s Idea
Work is God’s idea. Though He created a utopia in the Garden of Eden, God still commanded the man to “tend and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) The concept of work originated in the omniscient mind of God who Himself labored in the creation of the universe and still works to accomplish His purposes. The heavens are the work of His fingers. (Psalm 8:3) Thus, work of any kind is dignified because it derives its origin and meaning from God.
Work is not a drudgery to be endured but a gift from God. “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor–it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13). But we should remember that work is not automatically guaranteed. If you’ve ever been out of work or known someone who is unemployed, you know how great a blessing work really is.
The Purposes of Work
Work is God’s ordained method through which He supplies our basic needs–food, clothing, and shelter. He could drop our provisions in our front yard each Friday if He wanted to, but He has chosen honest labor as His channel of supply. Apparently, many members of the Thessalonian church had been deceived into thinking they could wait for Christ’s return without working. They were admonished by Paul to work quietly, to eat their own bread, and to cease from idleness. If they didn’t work, Paul said, they shouldn’t eat.
Diligent labor is also the means by which we can bless and serve others. In Thessalonica, Paul the tentmaker was working night and day so that he might not be a burden to any. Work provides the substance with which we can profitably help others less fortunate than ourselves.
It is far more enjoyable to bless others than to be a financial or emotional burden. Paul urged the thief to work hard so that “he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28). Work contributes not just to our own well-being but to the welfare of the human community.
Glorify God in Your Work
Supremely, however, work is a means by which we can serve and glorify God. “Whatever you do, do [your work] heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). Every detail of the job is divinely important. We are working to bring glory and honor to our Master and Lord, not just to please the supervisor.
God notices and rewards our desire to serve Him through our work. This is where true fulfillment lies. Any work can become an exciting adventure when we see how much it counts for eternity. No matter how dull the routine, God is in the midst of it. All work is sacred when God is at work through us.
“Some work counts for eternity”
God isn’t interested in how prestigious your business is, so long as it is morally permissible. He isn’t primarily concerned about its type either. There are millions of occupations. When you stand before Him in judgment, He won’t ask about your title, length of career, or income. What He will ask is, “Did you work for My glory and the blessing of others?” How will you answer?
For further insights, read the following passages:
- Genesis 39:2-6
- Nehemiah 6:1-4
- Ecclesiastes 9:10
- Colossians 3:17
- 2 Thessalonians 3:7-14