Saturday, September 2, 2017

God Notices Your Labor!

Photo by Fulton St_4039 2013

As we in the United States celebrate Labor Day this weekend, many may be in less than a joyful mood due to financial worries. For those looking for work, the long weekend may be no different from other days, and just a painful reminder that they are unemployed. Those affected by the terrible storm may have not been able to go to their workplace, yet may have been laboring intensely to clean up and repair their homes and businesses.

Many are working to make ends meet at a job that does not meet their expectations or qualifications. Others find that their job responsibilities have grown because fewer people are hired, but their pay stays the same or even decreases. Even worse, it often seems that our employers, coworkers or clients don’t notice our hard work or appreciate the good job we do.

But God always notices! He knows our hearts (Psalm 139:23), and He can tell whether we’re working in joyful service because of how He has blessed us beyond measure (Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 4:19), or whether we’re going through the motions grudgingly, doing the minimum we need to do to get by.

By forgiving our sin debt (Romans 4:7; Ephesians 1:7), by giving His only begotten Son to die for our sins, and by giving eternal life to all those who repent and believe that Jesus rose from the dead (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), God has blessed us far beyond what we could ever imagine.

And yet, He delights in heaping blessings on us even beyond that, and in great abundance (John 10:10; Luke 12:32; James 1:17). This gives us reason to find joy in all circumstances (Philippians 4:4) and to give thanks for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), even if our sin nature feels we have reason to complain rather than to be thankful (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).

For every task we do at work or at home, no matter how menial or insignificant it seems, there is a reason to find joy in it and give thanks for it. If we are washing our dirty dishes, we can be thankful for the good meal we ate, the family we shared it with, and for running water.

If we’re losing patience because of customers’ endless complaints, we can be thankful that there are customers so that we have a job, and we can rejoice in the opportunity to bring them satisfaction and peace rather than anger (Matthew 5:9). In whatever situation we find ourselves, we can thank God by putting our whole heart, soul and might into glorifying Him, making each moment of our life a living prayer to Him. He will always remember and reward us for our service and worship even when no one else notices (Matthew 25:21-23).

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.… 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

As Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), Christians should give a good testimony at work and wherever a job needs to be done because we are willing to go the extra mile and with the right attitude. As the apostle Paul wrote to Titus, servants are to please their masters, or in today’s world, employees are to serve their employers with the same humility of spirit with which we serve Christ. He is our true Master, and in serving others, we are serving Him (Titus 2:9-10).

Even when we assemble for worship in God’s house, no good deed is too trivial to escape His attention! A kind word or smile for someone who is hurting may be exactly what God intended to encourage that person to be faithful to His will (Hebrews 10:23-25).

When Solomon built the temple to glorify God, skilled artisans spent countless hours decorating the tops of the pillars with sculpted lilies, even though none of the worshipers would even see them once they were in position! But God saw and rewarded them for their labor, even though no one else would applaud or praise their work (1 Kings 7:13-22).

When was the last time we gave thanks to the person who showed up early Sunday morning to turn on the air conditioning, or to the person who made sure there was toilet paper in the restroom? Do we even know who these people are? But God knows and keeps track of their faithful service to His children and to all who come to hear His Word.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Our labor is not in vain! Employers, coworkers, and customers, and even family, friends, and fellow Christians, may not always show their appreciation, but God faithfully keeps track of all we do to His glory. We are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He will reward us in due time, if not in this world, then in Heaven (1 Corinthians 3:10-14) where we can enjoy the benefits forever!

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Love in Christ, and may you have a blessed Labor Day weekend!

© 2017 Laurie Collett



Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
This is a very enlightening article.
The opposite of giving thanks is grumbling. And sad to say, during my years at work I complained a lot. This was due to my inability to please and satisfy my parents by failing at school back in the 1960's.
Therefore I tended to envy those who were successful at school, attended university and graduated, and then hold down a successful professional career.
This, I believe, was out of my longstanding desire to make Mum and Dad happy and to be proud of me as their son, just as other parents in the neighbourhood were proud of their offspring.
Learning to be thankful to God has taken a long time, but I am getting there. Now as a retiree, I have the time to meditate on the goodness and mercy of God, and appreciate more and more each day his goodness.
Perhaps by comparison to other believers, my Christian growth was slow. Nevertheless, compared to eternity, our present lives are like a flash in the pan.
An excellent blog, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Praise God that His mercies are new every morning, and for His long suffering and patience toward us when we grumble instead of being grateful. As you say, the longer we walk with Him, the more opportunities we have to see Him prove Himself faithful, truly working all things together for our good even when we don't appreciate it.
You needn't chide yourself for "slow" Christian growth -- so many believers remain bavbs in Christ and never grow at all, whereas you have diligently applied your spiritual gifts to serving Him and edifying others, for which you will be richly rewarded.
As I like to think, we're all babies in eternity-years!
Thanks as always for sharing your insights and experience, and God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.
How many never stop to think about how blessed they are to have a place to sleep or food to eat. A lot of people are like the person who complains about the toilet paper being turned the wrong way on the holder, rather than being thankful someone put a roll on the holder.

If we learn to appreciate what God has done for us, our life will be much happier, even though we are experiencing the same things.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald, and Amen to being thankful! As I read once, what if today we had only those blessings for which we thanked God yesterday? We often can't change our circumstances, but we can change our attitude and experience the joy of His salvation.
God bless,