Work. The Lord gave it to Adam and Eve not after, but within Eden, one special blessing among many in the "good" world He founded.
As they created, collected, organized, pruned, and explored among the fruit and creatures of God's garden, the couple walked in their identity as ones made in their Creator's image (Genesis 1:28). They worked as He worked the past six days.
After the fall, however, their work and ours became jaded under the curse. It is now jilted by our sin, intensified by hardship, and hard on our bodies (Genesis 3:17-19).
Whether we're stuffed in a cubicle typing away into the wee hours of the night or picking up our child's 20th spaghetti noodle off the floor, our work can take us to wearisome places. Repetition and exhaustion in our mental and physical labors can test our will as we perform the daily grind in our offices, kitchens, and beyond.
Often times the results of our toil are unseen, or long-coming, driving us to question the validity of it–is it pointless, worthless, endless? Is it meaningful if I don't "enjoy" it or receive recognition?
If our hearts are hardening toward our work–becoming bitter, downtrodden, or downright tired, once again we have to revive them with the eternal wisdom of the Word.
There is nothing in this world that is untouched by the gospel of Jesus Christ. There's always good news when we return to the "good news" of our Savior. Jesus is the Redeemer of all things–including our work.
He came to restore goodness to all that had been spoiled by humanity's rebellion. He descended from heaven to draw us into His eternal will, to call believers individually and corporately into His grand story of redemption. This was His loving design from eternity past.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
Before we were even in the womb God knew every position we would hold, every skill our hands and eyes and minds would exercise, ordaining them that we may further His glory and advance His kingdom. He carefully crafted our hearts, capacities, talents, and footsteps so that we could work unto Him. That includes where you are now–what you're doing now.
Are you a wife? Are you a mother? Are you a student? Are you unemployed, or employed somewhere far from your dream job? Are you wondering if your current job matters? Forget what the world says about what you do and see God's hand. Your smallest action and most mundane job matters in His eyes because they are an opportunity for obedience, worship, faithfulness, Christlikeness, and holiness.
Any work is living, breathing evangelism and worship if done wholeheartedly for Him.
Each day you can wake up and pray before Him, "What good works do you have for me today? Make me aware of them. May I walk in my responsibilities with joy."
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.Colossians 3:23-24
When you believe in the gospel, Jesus becomes your new Master. What a gracious, inspiring master He is! As your magnificent, merciful Savior who loved you first, why not love Him in return through excellence? Christ's love is the best motivation for our work.
When you're feeling sluggish, unsure of your work's worth, remember who it is truly for. Seek to please your Heavenly Father and walk by the Spirit, and you will find newfound fervor. A shift to this perspective will naturally bless your earthly supervisor or benefactor.
When you're feeling overwhelmed and pressured by other's expectations, relinquish people-pleasing and discover rest in knowing He will determine the results. No matter what happens, He knows your heart. You serve Him first and foremost.
Failure and unfinished tasks are not valueless in His kingdom, but steps toward repentance, growth, and endurance. Because of Christ's work on the cross, our own work goes beyond the grave and accrues heavenly reward in His eyes. The same power that rose Christ from the dead empowers us to do what He has called us to.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.1 Corinthians 15:56-58
What's done for Christ is never empty. God created a natural law that good will reap good, and bad will reap bad. Work always has an effect, even if we can't yet perceive it. This rings true even more so for believers.
With the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, our redeemed labors now have eternal gravity–they cannot be in vain. Such a promise can drive us, enabling us to persevere when there appears to be no end or no profit from our work.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
So, stay-at-home mom, store clerk, CEO, or everything in between, take heart. Our God has redemptive purpose for your work–especially in the monotonous, trying, and challenging days. Let's not give up!
In our work He is working in us–shaping us closer to the image of His Son. In our work He is working through us, touching the lives of others in ways we may never see until eternity. So, let's be trustworthy and earnest, because we have a God who graces us with the ability to participate in His glory. We can prayerfully follow His lead, as we walk in the good works He has prepared.