Settling the Conflict Between Work and Struggle
Do you feel like you’re struggling right now? Maybe life feels like one big struggle to you—you can sense it in your work, your finances, even your pursuit of God.
When we’re faced with struggle, many of us start to think that something is wrong. We nervously say, “I think this might be something evil—the devil must be resisting me. Or I’m being attacked! It can’t be right that I’m working this hard. This can’t be from God—it’s so much work!”
Toil is a reality of living in a fallen world. We don’t need to respond in fear and assume the devil is involved every time life gets difficult. I don’t think that working hard is wrong or that struggle is “evil.” Work is tough. The fruit of our labor grows up right next to thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18–19). Persevering in the midst of thorns and thistles is key.
If you’re struggling as you build your business or work at your place of employment, I want to encourage you not to give up your confidence. According to the Bible, all labor surely leads to profit or increase (Prov. 14.23). This means that whatever we work on will one day produce a harvest. It doesn’t necessarily mean all of us will be shockingly wealthy by the world’s standards, but it does mean our efforts will produce fruit.
Character and Kings
If hard work and struggle aren’t evidence of the devil, what are they?
They are what we do to prove our character (Rom. 5:4). When we are tired, worn out, working hard, and starting to feel discouraged, that is not the time to give up, because we are proving who we are.
The truth is, you are not fragile; you are resilient. You have God, you have vision, you know who you are, and you have a purpose—an answer to why you’re on the planet.
God is real. He can interrupt your life with anointing and bless the things you are working on. Whatever He’s given you to do, do it with excellence because one day your skills will bring you before kings (Prov. 22:29).
If you need to work hard on something, don’t be afraid to do so, for your efforts will bear fruit.
What If You’re Exhausted?
God knows we exist in a worldwide economy based on toil, one filled with thistles and thorns. Therefore He established the principle of Sabbath from the very beginning of creation. All of us need rest.
The Sabbath shouldn’t be a “law” in your life, but keep it as a principle and understand it will cause the inside of you to wake up. It is a day to play, rest, laugh, and be with your family and people. In the global epidemic of toil and struggle, it is a day to recover your strength.
If you find yourself in a place of exhaustion, here are a few thoughts that may help you:
A Prayer of Restoration for the Weary Soul
Whatever you are dealing with right now, stop for a moment and take a deep breath. When you are ready, pray the following prayer:
Father, I am asking You to come and bathe my heart in the oil of Your presence. Make me soft and supple in Your hands once again, and fill me with courage and strength. Please relieve my heart, reassure me, and bring me into a time of refreshing. I ask that I would be able to watch and experience myself growing stronger in capacity. Please increase provision and decrease debt in my life. Increase favor and decrease the enemy’s harassment. Bring Your blessings upon me. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you feel like you’re floundering, seek help. There is no reason to stay in this place where it seems like you can barely keep your head above water. Go learn how to swim so you’ll be able to make headway and go somewhere.
It is time to go somewhere—because we have a calling to co-labor with Christ and bring His kingdom. The world deserves an answer that is strong and true and looks like Jesus.
For more information about Sabbath and rest, check out Prosperous Soul: Volume 3 by Stephen K. De Silva.