Week beginning: 11th January, 2015

By Tom Cordrey | London

"So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot."

Ecclesiastes 3:22a (NIV)

Work is woven into God's structure for humanity. Adam worked in the garden, Daniel was on an apprenticeship in Babylon, Paul stayed and worked with Aquila and Priscilla because they were fellow tentmakers. The gospel of Mark suggests Jesus was a carpenter.

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us something we already know: that when we enjoy our work it is an enormous blessing that overflows into other areas of our lives. The converse is also true, when work is stressful that has a knock-on impact on our relationships and sometimes even on our faith.

So how do we start the year enjoying work? Ecclesiastes explains that when our work comes from human striving it is "meaningless, a chasing after the wind" (2:11) and that when our focus is our own aggrandisement and wealth this too is folly: "Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil" (4:6). But where our focus is on pleasing the Lord Jesus, 2015 can be a year where we receive "from the hand of God" enjoyment and satisfaction in our work (2:24-26).

Prayer points:

1. Thank God for your present or past employment. Confess where you have lost enjoyment in it by becoming focussed on things other than trying to please God. Pray for fellow LCF members who are struggling at the start of the year with unemployment or with difficult job situations.

2. Listen to God. Listen for a moment to hear what he wants to say to you about enjoyment of your job in the year to come.