When Work Is Pain

As a result of the curse (Gen. 3) our work doesn’t always fulfill us in the ways it was designed to. Some of us are waking up today knowing that it’s going to be a long day and others of us will get hit by it before our first cup of coffee.

thorns-and-thistles-padmanabhan-ramchander

But we always have choices on how we can respond.

“Woe is me” is one response we can choose whereby we victimize ourselves and the situation we find ourselves in. We think to ourselves that “this shouldn’t be happening to me, it’s not fair and it’s not right.”

Or we may respond by releasing our anger, frustration or stress on other people around us. “If only so and so would do their job right I wouldn’t be in the situation I am in”. We become overly critical and our capacity for mercy quickly dries up for anyone who crosses us reminds us of the bad day we are having.

The hard thing is we may be right. It isn’t fair and those people do to a poor job that makes my job ten times harder. And there may be appropriate times to explain something to management or let someone know how they might help the team better. However, a personal heart check needs to take place before that.

As Jesus’ followers we are not to be known for our self pity or complaining because that wasn’t how Jesus lived.

But some of us may try and “will ourselves through the day”. We say little adages to ourselves such as, “God only puts us through things we can handle.” In some ways this may be helpful because it communicates that we are going to get through this situation/experience even if it feels impossible in the moment because God is in control (which is true).

However the glaring problem with this phrase is that it’s not biblical.

The verse that people often cite as support for the idea is 1st Cor. 10:13,

 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

As you can see the text clearly indicates that temptation to sin is mind, not any difficult or painful situation we find ourselves in. Therefore what the verse is saying is that as believers encounter sin  in their daily lives we are no longer bound to obey it (Rom. 6:6-14) but can trust that God will provide a way out from it if we choose to obey Him. Be careful using this to try and encourage others in painful/difficult situations because it can often minimize the struggle they are experiencing and because it can make God feel “far off” as oppose to near and close to their situation.

So what are we to do then in the midst of difficulties at work and in life in general?

Jesus explains to us as He did to His disciples in Matthew 11:28-30:

Peter.1“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

We are suppose to do the same thing we did when we realized our life was a mess before we knew Christ: Come to Him. When we encounter troubles and hardship Jesus is calling us back to Himself and reminding us of our desperate need for Him. He isn’t calling us to complain or blame others. He isn’t telling us to strap our boot straps on and push through it alone.

Jesus is calling us to remember who He, what He has done for us and our desperate need for Him in our day to day lives. As we reconnect with Him we realize who we are and who He has called us to be and that we are never alone in our situation.

As you head to work this morning, whether the day is going (or may/will go) good or bad take some time reflecting on who Jesus is and what He has done in your life on your drive to work or before you start your day. Be reminded that He is the God of the Universe who is in control of all things and is actively working all things for your ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). Have peace in the realization of these things and let this verse from Jesus’ mouth go with you for the rest of your day:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

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~ by simplesage on December 8, 2013.

2 Responses to “When Work Is Pain”

  1. Great message! I never thought of it like that.

  2. Good job needed that today

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