Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day eighteen with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the work God has created in advance for us to do.
Thankful For Work
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
John 9 4 (NIV)
As I get back into the routine of a “normal” week, I am thankful for the work God has given me that brings glory to Him. Yesterday was kind of a dreary day — it was a long day of driving with all of it under an overcast sky and most of it in rainy conditions. Definitely not weather that tends to uplift my spirit, so I was thankful to find several encouraging messages when I got home from people who wanted to thank me for sharing prayer-based resources at ICOM. The recurring theme in each of them was to praise God for His work in the midst of our conversations and interaction. That is the part I found most encouraging because it served to remind me who I am working for and who will complete the work He began in me.
I find it interesting that the above verse comes in the middle of the response given by Jesus to the disciples who were asking about the cause of a man born blind. Jesus made it clear that the blindness was not a result of sin by this man or his parents, but rather an opportunity for the glory of God to be displayed. It also seems clear to me that the opportunity to do the work of God is not something that should be put off as not only could it be a time-sensitive opportunity, but if we don’t do the work now there may not be a tomorrow to do it in.
As I pray this week about purpose, I am thankful for a God who gives purpose to the work I do. I am thankful that He doesn’t limit the type of work that has purpose to specific “noble” callings, but gives purpose and value to all work that is done in a faithfulness to Him that brings Him glory. I am thankful for reminders of the good work He does through people like you and I. I am thankful for the good work of people who make it possible for me to share at conferences. Their work has as much purpose and value as mine — perhaps even more.
What is the work you do? Is it easy for you to see it as work done for God? Why? Would a growing attitude of thankfulness for the work set before you change how you view that work? Why?
As you pray, thank God for the work you are able to do. Pray that you would approach all of the work you do as work being done for Him.
I pray that you and I would grow in both our thankfulness and our awareness of the opportunities to do the work of God. I pray that we would do good works for the purpose of bringing glory to our Father in heaven. I pray that we would make the most of every opportunity as we live with an awareness that those opportunities may cease to exist at any time.