Work in the New Year

God calls all of us to be involved in some form of work. Some of us work on a farm, while others of us work in offices, still others in restaurants and factories. Others have jobs in fields like engineering, chemistry or another mathematical  or scientific field. In addition, we each have talents and abilities given to us by God. God requires us to use these gifts in the service of the church. Whatever our calling, God requires that we do our best. We’ve all had jobs that we haven’t cared about much for one reason or another. But even in jobs such as these, we ought to work hard for the glory and honor of God. As the apostle says “whether therefore we eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).

Struggling with a negative attitude toward the work we are called to do, whether in the workplace or at church, is nothing new. It is something everyone struggles with at some point. Moses, the author of Psalm 90, was called to one of the hardest tasks that any of God’s people have had to face: leading the children of Israel through the deserts of Egypt and the Middle East to the land of Canaan. He was a man who got discouraged sometimes in his duties, as we sometimes do in our own work as well. Part of this was the realization that he was a sinner leading a large group of fellow sinners who sometimes faced the anger of God as a result of their disobedient actions. “For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told”(Psalm 90:7-9). God called Moses to lead His children to the Promised Land, but often it seemed that Moses and the Israelites faced nothing but plagues, hunger and enemies. How could they carry on in the face of all of this? They prayed to God for His grace and wisdom, so that they could persevere in the face of overwhelming odds. “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom… that we may rejoice and be glad all our days”(Psalm 90:12,14b). We too battle sin as we go about our callings in this new year and as a result we also get discouraged. Like the Israelites, we too need to ask of God for wisdom in our lives. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”(James 1:5). In other words, when we pray to God in faith for the strength, wisdom and guidance that we seek, He will give it to us in great abundance. This doesn’t mean that our lives will be easy and that we will get everything we want, but it does mean that we too, by the grace of  God, can maintain our spiritual perspective on our work in this life, no matter how overwhelming circumstances may be in our lives. Then we can pray with Moses “…establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17b). May God give us the grace we need to work to His glory in the year ahead!

Kevin Rau

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