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Faith and Work
Faith in the Choice of Occupation
Faith and Help at Work
Faith and Serving God at Work
Faith and the Discomforts of Work
Faith casts the Burden on the Lord
Faith and the Results of Work
Faith and Leaving Work Behind
Fourthly, faith has a very beneficial influence upon the life that we live in the flesh, for it reconciles a man to the discomforts of his calling. It is not every calling that is easy or lucrative, or honoured among men. It is a happy circumstance when a man has espoused a business which is so congenial with his taste that he would not change it for another if he could: but some find their trades irksome to them. This is an evil under the sun. Some employments are despised by the thoughtless, and involve much self-denial, and hence those who follow them need much faith to enable them to live above the trials of their position. Faith teaches the humble worker to see Jesus in all his lowliness, condescending to take upon himself the form of a servant for our sakes. Faith reads, "Jesus, knowing that he came forth from God and went to God, took a towel, and girded himself, and washed his disciples' feet." That was one of the most menial of employments, and if our Lord and Master did not disdain it why should we be ashamed of the humblest form of service? From henceforth let no man trouble you, but rejoice because the poor man's Saviour was a servant even as you are, and he too was "despised and rejected of men."
Your faith ought to help you by arousing your gratitude for deliverance from a far worse drudgery. You did for Satan things of which you are now ashamed. Any work for the devil, and for his black cause, would be dishonourable: to rule an empire for Satan would disgrace us; to wear the crown put on our heads by sinning would be a horrible curse, but to wash feet for Christ is glorious service. There is no degradation in anything that is done for God. Faith in God sanctifies the man, and his calling, too, and makes it pleasant to him to carry the cross of Christ in his daily labour. There are some who hold their heads high, who, nevertheless, do things that are disgraceful to humanity, but surely you and I ought never to think anything a hardship which falls to our lot by the appointment of divine providence.
Faith is a great teacher of humility; for it bids us think little of ourselves, and rest alone in God; and because it fosters humility it renders a man's task pleasant when else it would be irksome. Pride makes a man stiff in the back: there are some works which he cannot do though he would be happy enough in doing them if he had not such foolish ideas of his own importance. Hard work is no disgrace to any man; it is far more degrading to be leading the life of a fashionable do-nothing. When the Lord makes us feel that we are poor, undeserving creatures, we do not mind taking the lowest room, or doing the meanest work, for we feel that as long as we are out of hell and have a hope of heaven, the meanest service is an honour to us. We are glad enough to be where God would have us be, seeing Christ has loved us and given himself for us.
Faith also removes discomforts by reminding us that they will
not last long. Faith says of trial, "Bear it! The time is
short. Soon the Saviour cometh, and the poorest of his followers
shall then reign with him." Toil on, O weary one, for the
morning light will put an end to thy labour, which lasts only
through the hours of darkness. The glory breaks; the night is
wearing away, and the dawn appeareth. Therefore patiently wait
and quietly hope, for thou shalt see the salvation of God. Thus
faith takes the thorns from our pillow, and makes us learn in
whatsoever state we are therewith to be content. Call you this
nothing? Has not Jesus done much for us when by faith in him we
have learned to endure the ills of life with sweet content?
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