March 18, 2018
READ: Psalms 126:1–127:2
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones (127:2).
After months of intense stress at my job, as well as a busy season with family and ministry, I was exhausted— and more than just physically. Reflecting on the prior six months, I realised that, although I had tried to be consistent in my work ethic, I didn’t consistently take time to rest. Responsibility is an important part of life, but disorder sets in when responsibilities become the chain holding us captive to self-reliance.
As Psalm 126 and 127 reveal, God wants us to experience the abundance that comes when we depend on Him. His promise to take care of us includes our work lives. While we may experience the result of sin’s curse in the frustrations and exhaustion that comes with work (Genesis 3:17-19), working hard isn’t a sin. As ones who were made in God’s image, we were imprinted with the ability to plant, build and create. We were made for work (1:26-28).
But we were also made for rest (Hebrews 4:10).
Believing our future provision rests in our own hands or seeking to find our worth in our work causes us to miss the point of our lives—living in God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:31-33). But even when we drift away from God, He remains faithful, ready to bring renewal, restoration and blessing into our lives (Psalm 126:1-4).
Surrendering our work lives to Him means more than leaning on Him when we are distressed. To depend on Him with the entirety of who we are requires us to invest our time and energy only where He’s leading (127:1). Following His lead requires believing that it’s His provision, not our own, that makes us secure (v.2). Then, even when we “plant in tears, [we] will harvest with shouts of joy . . . [and] sing as [we] return with the harvest” (126:5-6).
365-day plan: Ruth 4:1-22
Read Genesis 2:1-3 and Isaiah 65:17-25 and consider how God’s original and restorative designs for work fit together.
How are you balancing work and rest? What does it mean for you to experience abundance through dependence on Jesus?