Work as a Hardship
A devotional thought from Mike Cosper for “Created to Work”
Many of us have had bad jobs. Some have had bosses that ruled like petty tyrants. Some have had fickle and bitter clients and customers who act entitled and demanding. Others have faced the hardship of grueling manual labor, enduring sore bodies, heat exhaustion, and dangerous work.
While the Bible shows work to be a gift from God, it also shows us that work is cursed. As God told Adam, “The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:17).
How do we reconcile this with work being good and work being a gift? These words from the Book of James might help: “Brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (Jas. 5:10-11).
Enduring hardships has its own rewards. In a world that’s stained by sin, where our own selfishness would run rampant if it were allowed, the hardships of work—and the hardships of life generally—are a good in themselves. They cultivate patience and endurance, marking our lives with character and virtue. The things in life that are hard, that which we would wish to avoid, are the very things God uses to transform us for the better.
Take a moment and listen to Laura Story’s song “Blessings.”
Pause and Reflect
• What aspects of your job drive you crazy? Where do you see the curse at work?
• How have you seen the hard parts of work turn out to be a blessing?
• How could you encourage a struggling Christian with this truth? Is there someone you could encourage today?