I have to admit, I hated the job. While working my way through seminary, I worked part-time on a night stocking crew at a grocery store. I had a bad attitude. Doing it only for the money, I took little pride in my work. I was a demonstration of how not to do it.
Is it even remotely possible that the words ‘job’ and ‘joy’ could coexist in the same sentence without someone rolling their eyes and saying, “Yeah, right!”
Paul said, “Work out your own salvation … for it is God who works in you.” (Philippians 2:12-13 ESV) In this context he uses words like “work” and “labor” alongside “be glad” and “rejoice.”
This verse has nothing to do with earning your salvation. You are saved by grace alone through faith. But once God works into you His salvation, then you are to work it out.
First, work your faith. God has worked in you his salvation, gifts, talents, and skills. Now work this potential out in your everyday life everywhere you go. Tragic it is to let gifts lay around going to waste, even if you are retired.
Second, faith your work. If you have a job, then put your faith to work at the workplace. Perhaps you see your job as a joy-stealer. But joy can be found in the most unlikely places if we will apply ourselves for a higher purpose than just making money.
So how do I find joy in work? After all, didn’t Adam and Eve sin in the Garden of Eden, get kicked out for bringing sin into the human race, and then punished by having to go to work? Not exactly. They did sin and brought sin’s curse on all of us sinners. But the punishment was not work. They were given work to do before they sinned, God placed them in the garden to “work it.” The curse of sin is the weeds and toil of working in a sin-tainted world, not the work itself.
Here’s seven ways joy can result from how we work. (Philippians 2:12-18)
Obey God at work. Apply God’s principles as you work. It will often be anti-cultural to do this, but it is the first source of joy. (v.12)
Work with an intense reverence for the real presence of an awesome God who gives you his amazing grace. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. (v.12)
Expect God to provide you everything you need to do his will at work, even the desire and energy to do it. (v.13)
Take muttering and calculated conniving out of your work conversations. Complaining only steals your joy and other’s joy. (v.14)
Be a bright light in a dark and crooked world. Remember the song, “Hide it under a bushel? No!” (v.15)
Memorize scripture and live it out at work. Don’t meditate on the negative (worry), meditate on Scripture. (v.15)
Do these things even if it requires you to sacrifice something, then rejoice. (vv.17-18)
Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, I will continue the series, “HOW TO IN-JOY LIFE: Simple, but Difficult Steps.”
Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching, and service.