Work is a Gift from God

Work is a Gift from God

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What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NKJV), The Bible

I know you might be thinking “Are you kidding me? How can work be a gift from God?!”

While work may conjure up nothing but negative feelings for you, I am reminded today that it has never been intended for it to be that way. How do we make better sense of work then?

In the short but yet profound few verses from the Bible, King Solomon sets the record straight about work:

  1. Who Gives Work?
    Verse 10 reminds us that work is given to us by God. Work originated from Him and it is meant for good. This is echoed in Ephesians: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~ Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
  2. God Works Too
    Just in case we have the wrong impression that work is a kind of punishment for us because of our fallen nature, I am reminded that God works too. We can see this in verse 11 that states: “work that God does from beginning to end”. For our fallen nature and sinfulness, we suffer its effect with toil, not work. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “toil” as “long strenuous fatiguing labour”; work that is long, exhausting, draining and frustrating.

    Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

    “Cursed is the ground for your sake;
    In toil you shall eat of it
    All the days of your life.
    Both thorns and thistles it shall [a]bring forth for you,
    And you shall eat the herb of the field.
    In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
    Till you return to the ground,
    For out of it you were taken;
    For dust you are,
    And to dust you shall return.
    ~ Genesis 3:17-19 (NKJV)

  3. What Work is Meant to Look Like
    Verse 11 reminds us work is supposed to be beautiful. God has made everything, including the work we do, beautiful in its time. It should provide a glimpse and picture of eternity (verse 11) and it should result in good (verse 12). This is also the reason why we do the work we do in Emmaus; fueling good.
  4. Work is Meant to be a Gift
    And so, what did King Solomon conclude from the short 4 verses (verses 9-12) about work? He reminds us that we are to enjoy this gift of work from God; we are to rejoice, eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of our labour.

Keen to bring life to work and beat burnout? Join our events or bring them to your workplace.

All of us at Emmaus wish you a blessed Labour Day. Have a good rest and enjoy the fruit of your labour.


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Work is a Gift from God

by James Lim
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