“To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--that is indeed a gift from God.”
- Ecclesiastes 5:19 NLT
Over the years, I had read this verse many times, but one day during my devotional time, the Lord began shedding some new light on it for me. For as long as I can remember, I had this notion that I shouldn't expect to enjoy my work, and that I should approach much of my labor with a “grin and bear it” kind of attitude. And what was to convince me otherwise? It seemed that I was always surrounded by people who shared and demonstrated that exact mindset. Thankfully, the Lord began showing me the above verse and others like it, and dealing with me about my wrong thinking in this area. He led me to begin praying and standing on these truths for myself and my loved ones, and He graciously began to reward my faith with exciting new work-related blessings for all of us.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God wants us to enjoy our work. Solomon puts it plainly when he says, “To enjoy your work…that is indeed a gift from God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NLT) This is a common theme throughout Ecclesiastes. Solomon also writes, “That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13 NIV) So now that we know that God wants us to find joy and satisfaction in our work--and that these are gifts from Him--what can we do? We can ASK Him for them, trusting that He is true to His Word when He says that whenever we pray in line with His will, He will answer us. (1 John 5:14-15) Jesus said, “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11 NLT) And James wrote, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2 NIV) The key word in these verses is ASK. Don't assume that you have to settle for doing distasteful and unfulfilling work all your life. Yes, there may be times when we might have to endure some periods of doing work that we dislike, but our prayer and our goal should be to spend most of our lives doing the kind of work that gives us joy. One of my regular prayers for myself and my family is, “Lord, please enable us to earn a good living doing what we love to do most.” I also pray that God will help us to do our part in the fulfillment of this prayer. One way we can cooperate with the Lord to this end is to seek His guidance daily, depending on Him to keep us in His perfect will. When we're doing what God has called us to do, we will experience a peace, joy and satisfaction that will be missing when we're out of His will.
I encourage you to begin asking God to make a way for you to enjoy your work. If you're in a position where you really dislike your job or the work you're doing, the Lord can open up a new door of opportunity for you as a result of your prayers. If it's not His will and timing for you to make a move right now, He can make your present job more pleasant and fulfilling somehow. He may do that by causing you to find favor or recognition in the sight of your employer or coworkers. Or He may improve your working conditions in various little ways until He can move you into a more desirable position. Rest assured that as you pray in faith, God will do SOMETHING to enable you to enjoy your labor more. If you're a child of God, you don't have to resign yourself to a “grin and bear it” attitude toward your work. God has made a way for you to find joy and satisfaction in your toil. May you begin today to press on toward the goal of “rejoicing in your labor”! (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NKJV)
Prayer: Lord, I believe that it's Your will for me to enjoy my work. Please teach me how to do that. Keep me in Your perfect will so that I'll always be in the right place at the right time, even where my work is concerned. Thank You for enabling me to earn a good living doing what I love to do!
- J. M. Farro