Work hard and cheerfully

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” John 17:4 (NIV)

If I was home when my children went out the front door to school I always sent them off with the same words, “Work hard and cheerfully.”

I wanted them to be diligent in what they did and to enjoy being productive. This was the attitude I wanted them to have with everything they did in life.

In Ecclesiastes 9:10 it says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (NIV)

There is pleasure in striving for excellence and in the matter of being productive. Great satisfaction comes to those who complete a task and look on a job well done.

Jesus’ comment in His prayer in John 17:4 not only tells us that He completed His assigned work but Jesus tells us that it glorified the Father. In John 8:29 Jesus said, “I always do what pleases him.” (NIV)

So Jesus accepted the assignment given Him by the Father and made certain He completed the work and accepted the trials He faced up to and including the crucifixion.

This is how we too can honour and glorify God. We should do what we need to do in life with all our skills and strength and accept whatever life brings with submission to God even as Jesus did.

By our submission to suffering in life we show that we trust God and His difficult providence. It is a hard lesson to learn and it will often take time for us to bow before God and say to Him, “Not my will but yours be done.” But the way to show submission is to accept the difficulty and work through it without complaint.

There is another side to this coin however and we need to flip it over and see what it is. When Jesus was facing betrayal and great suffering at the hands of His enemies He prayed and asked the Father if it was possible for the cup of suffering to pass by Him. If it was appropriate for Jesus to make such a request it will be appropriate for us as well.

Whatever the issue is that is unwelcome in your life, you may ask for it to be removed. This is not an act of rebellion, rather it is a sincere request and God hears it.

However, there are times when we will be required to pass through a valley of suffering and our prayer for the removal of the trial is not answered. When the reality dawns on us that we are not going to be relieved of the matter, we may then pray earnestly to God for the necessary grace to endure.

We bring to God in prayer the words of Paul when he discovered that his trial had to stay with him, “My grace is sufficient for you” 1 Corinthians 12:9.

Perhaps you have prayed for your problem to pass from you but it remains. Have you come to the place where you are prepared to accept it into your life and to call out to God to prove His promise about the sufficiency of His grace? God is willing to come to the assistance of any who are in need.

You should feel free to pray for the help that is required to continue under the situation you find yourself in today. Come to the Father in Jesus’ name and come today.

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