Work and responsibilities take up the majority of our awaken hours. Whether we are going to a job or raising a family, the responsibilities of our labors are always before us. It is easy to get caught in the rat race, even though we are not rats. If we allow it, toiling the day away ends up being the sum of who we are. Solomon warned against this:
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)
Solomon is not giving us license to become a burden to our family or society as a whole. What he is suggesting is we must strike a balance in our daily work. First, it is a blessing to work at something you enjoy. This is why it is important to establish your dreams and seek them. However, if our dreams are outside of God’s will, the joy we seek in our labors will never be found. We must ensure our dreams are steeped in righteousness:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
The mistake many make is that they set their sights on temporal things. Some seek wealth, fame, or success. None of these are bad things unless they become the sole purpose of our toil. If all I am pursuing are temporal things, then happiness will be temporary, as will the money, fame, or success I seek. Solomon also warned against this:
“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!” (Proverbs 23:4)
What happens when we set our eyes on temporal things? If we achieve them, we worry about losing them. If we have yet to achieve them, we worry about reaching our goals. If we end up with nothing, we worry about how to get through the day. Survival becomes are sole purpose in life. I know there are people struggling financially, but even the poorest in America doesn’t know true poverty. Nevertheless, in all things we must trust God:
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Recently I told my Sunday school class that I live a 95% stress-free life. I think most of them doubted what I was saying. But I went on to explain to them that living stress-free didn’t mean not having stressors. Stressors are a normal part of anyone’s day.
As I taught my youngest daughter Becky, if you can do something about a situation, don’t stress about it. If you cannot do something about a situation, don’t stress about it. What that means if you can do something about the situation, do it! If you cannot, then let it go.
So many people, particularly in America, are ill because of stress. They don’t eat right, they don’t get enough sleep, and they are robbing themselves of the joyful life Jesus wants us all to live. I have learned to turn things over to the Lord. Those things which I can affect, I ask the Lord for guidance on how to proceed. Those things over which I have no control, I tell the Lord that I will trust Him in all things. It helps me sleep better at night:
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
When it comes to how we meet each day, let us remember to be involved in the work of the Lord, whatever that may be in your life. I’m not saying we won’t ever get tired; getting tired from a good day’s work is a healthy thing. Warren Wiersbe explains:
“We get tired IN God’s work but we do not get tired OF God’s work, because the Lord who gives us the strength to work also gives us the rest we need.”
Our lives can be fulfilling no matter are stations. We may think we are not accomplishing much, but that is the lie of the devil. Satan does not want you to find satisfaction in what you are doing today. He wants to steal your joy. That alone can make us weary.
Let us seek the Lord’s will each day for our lives, and when we lay our heads on our pillows at night, may we find the rest we need to begin a new day.
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers