Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

Don’t detest hard work |Fire in my bones | J.O. Lawal

Date: August 24, 2022 |Series: Youth for Jesus|Number: Vol. 5, No. 15

“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” (John 4:38NIV)

There is a growing hatred among many young people today for hard work. All they want is much profit with little or no work at all. They want to live in mansions, ride the latest exotic cars, eat delicacies all the time and move around with the finest of ladies or guys in the world. All for doing what? All for doing almost nothing!

Is it wrong to live in mansions or to ride exotic cars or to eat delicacies or to marry beautiful ladies or handsome men? No, these things are not wrong in themselves. But we need to earn the right to have them through honest, hard and diligent labour.

Now observe that I said spoke of honest, hard and diligent labour as a means to earning the right to live large. That is because it is not every job that is hard to do that is also honest. For example, robbery, drug trafficking, human trafficking, kidnapping, burglary, prostitution, and swindling are all hard and risky jobs to do. And they can make plenty of money available for people to live very large lives. However, regardless of the degree of devotion and diligence given to doing these jobs, they are not honest or legitimate jobs. So, those involved in them can only hope to get destroyed through them sooner or later.

So, when I am taking about being given to hard work, I am not talking about any kind of work. Rather, I am talking about legitimate and honest work that people can proudly identify with. And I am saying don’t be ashamed to give yourself fully to any such job. Why? First, it is because God rewards those who work hard and diligently. Paul, writing to the Colossian brethren, says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.” (Col 3:23-25NIV)

Did you see that? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is interested in our work and also in our attitude towards it, regardless of whom we are working for or working with. And He will reward us right here in this world for whatever we do, even if we are not Christians. This explains why He may pick an unbeliever from among believers and exalt him, if he is hardworking and diligent. There is no favouritism with Him.

I am sure you know the story of Joseph and of how God exalted him. Why did God exalt him in the manner that He did? One main reason was that the young man was a hard and diligent worker. And it did not matter to him where he was, whether he was in slavery or in the prison, whatever he found to do, he did it wholeheartedly. So, he was always experiencing exaltation and standing before those who mattered wherever he was. Of course, he did not become great in one day. But because he had a culture of working hard and diligently, God was able to clear the way for him to attain the highest position anyone could ever wish for in life. (Cf. Gen 39-41)

If you too will learn not to run away from hard work but to handle your work, whatever it is, seriously and diligently, God, who is always watching you, will see to it that you are always standing before those who matter where you are and not before irresponsible and useless people (Prov 22:29). Then, if you do not faint, a day will surely come when you will be led by Him to that height that no one thinks you can ever attain. And who knows how close you are to that day?

Another reason you shouldn’t run from hard and diligent labour is that you may through it offer comfort and rest to future generations. As our Lord points in our opening bible text, His disciples had a very rare privilege of eating the fruit of the labour of many prophets of old that had lived and ministered before them. Those people did the hard work of clearing the way for Him to come. But they were the beneficiaries of their hard work.

In like manner, the Christian liberty and sound spiritual education may of us are enjoying today have been made available for us through the hard work of some great men and women of God who lived here in the world before us. These people gave themselves to hard and diligent spiritual labour with perseverance in order for the truth of Jesus Christ to be preserved for us. And if they had detested hard work, all that we are now enjoying in terms of our spiritual heritage today would not have been ours to enjoy.

Interestingly, the same thing is true in the natural realm. The sophisticated lives many of us are living in the world today have been made available to us through the hard work of some great scientists, thinkers, academics and business men and women that lived years or centuries before us or that are living now among us. Similarly, there are many young people today that are able to enjoy quality education and live comfortably because of the hard work of their parents or grandparents. But what if these people had run away from hard work or if they had treated it with contempt, would the kind of lifestyles some of us are living now have been possible at all? No!

So, if you give yourself to hard work, you won’t be the only one to enjoy it. Others coming after you will also enjoy it. Stop running away, then, from hard and diligent labour, for it is your own way of vitally making the world a better place for all to live in

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