The scripture gives us the principle that “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thess. 3:10). This scripture was to address an attitude that could easily come up where individuals would not regularly apply themselves at jobs or work opportunities and would sit back, believing that “God will supply”. It is true that God will supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19), but in order for this to take place we also have to do our part, i.e. get a job and work. Of course there are various types of work that we can apply ourselves to. There could be work on a job site, doing our school work, the work of being a mother or parent, there could be housework or yard work. It is important that we properly apply ourselves at the work opportunities that God would have before us.
Okay, I qualify, I have a job, I go to work, everything should now line up perfectly in my life! The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thess. 1:3 “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice that it was not just work that was essential but also that the work and labour needed to be mixed with faith, love and hope. It is not sufficient to just have a job, there needs to be the right motive behind doing the work.
Where do we get this right motivation from? The strength behind work will not come if we only see the purpose as that of personal gain or money or recognition. If motivated through personal gain, then we will easily quit when the returns for the labour do not seem sufficient. Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Jesus came from heaven, a perfect place, into the worst of conditions, living here on the earth, so that He could do His work on my behalf. Out of appreciation for all of His Love and grace and strength, we too can work in difficult situations serving with thanksgiving, doing all to the glory of God.
Lord Jesus, help me to serve out of thanksgiving with all things being done to your praise and glory!