Created for Joy
I have always found the idea of doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life absolutely horrifying. I’d say most young adults share the same fear. I couldn’t imagine myself waking up to go sit at a sad grey desk surrounded by sad grey walls in a sad grey cubical. Day after day the same boring, bland routine. Is this what life is going to be like in the workplace? The good news is that it definitely doesn’t have to be. There is incredible joy in what may be mundane.
The very first verse in the Bible depicts God working, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). If you’re a Christian, you may have read/ heard this verse 1,000 times but read it one more time. “God created” he labored, he worked, and the outcome was very good (Genesis 1:31). It may not explicitly say God found joy in his work but describing it as “very good” argues it was joyful.
As beings created in the likeness of God, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him…” (Genesis 1:27), we are also made to create. We are meant to labor, work, make, and reap the same benefits of finding joy in what we’ve created. We were never meant to just work towards a biweekly paycheck. The goal isn’t another step up the ladder or gaining another material item. It’s joy. Shared joy in working towards the goal of making much of God just like his creation did in the beginning.
Work Joyfully for the Lord
The work we do is for God no matter who is submitting our paycheck.
“Bondservants obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling . . . as bondservants of Christ” (Ephesians 6:5–6).
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24).
If we are working only to gain praise from men, it will never be enough. I’ve heard it said before as “Work as if Christ is your employer”, in other words, work with faithfulness, diligence, and joyfulness. Even on the bad days prove to yourself and your co-workers that God is good. Reflect it in your speech, attitude, heart-posture, and work ethic. Our employers are humans which means they are no exception to the fall of man in Genesis 3. You may be cheated, looked over, or even fired at your workplace. The good news is that your worth isn’t measured in your job. The joy we’ve been given doesn’t lie there either.
As Christians, we cling to Christ as the source of all things, especially our joy. If the root of your joy is found in Christ, then bad days at work or hiccups in your career will not devastate your plans. If anything, these things will only point us back to Christ as our sure hope and foundation.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Here’s an encouragement to build on that foundation. Read! Study scripture ask questions and be faithful to pray. We are created to delight in Christ. We are loved by him! Just like the discipline of exercise builds our muscles the exercise of spiritual disciplines strengthens our faith. Strengthening our faith strengthens our joy. When our foundation is firm we aren’t easily swayed, and our joy is kept.
While you are Working, Look Unto Glory
Our joy lies in the hope to come. In the meantime, use your skills! Search for a job that grows, challenges, and opens doors for you! But do not neglect to work for what lasts. Legacy fades and names are eventually forgotten but life in Christ is eternal. Our hope isn’t in worldly successes, it’s in the return of Christ. Day by day continue to look upon him and you will find everything a job can’t supply. There you will find hope, security, fulfillment, life, and incredible joy.