Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Give God Credit for Your Joy

Chuckle: "Hmmm.... I'm not sure if I actually have some free time on my hands or if I'm just forgetting to do something."
Quote: "Let us work as if success depends on ourselves alone, but with the heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing and God everything." --St Ignatius Loyola

"On that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy" (Nehemiah 12:43 HCSB).
Our passage is from a great and inspiring story of God's faithfulness and recognition by His people that He had made their accomplishments possible, resulting in their joy. The Israelites had completed the wall around Jerusalem to fortify and protect their city. It was an occasion for great joy because a daunting task had been completed.
It would have been easy for the people to pat themselves on the back and bask in the limelight for what they had accomplished. But, even though they had exerted great effort and made significant sacrifice to complete the task, they recognized that they played only a small part in what God had accomplished. They gave God the credit for their accomplishments and new-found joy.
This story can serve to remind us of God's role in everything we do. Perhaps you have received a promotion or otherwise been recognized for a major contribution to a great success. The natural thing to do is to think, "look what I have done. I deserve the credit." There is nothing wrong with taking pride in our accomplishments, but for Christians, we should always give God the credit for our successes and resulting joy. After all, He gives us the abilities and resources that make our achievements possible. God empowers us and paves the way for our successes.
"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24 NLT).
Since the creation, God has given us work to do. When we come to the point of seeing our work as an act of worship, it becomes easy to give God the credit for any feelings of pride and joy that may come from our labor. Not only does this attitude remove some of the drudgery and boredom from our work, but it gives us the joy of knowing we are pleasing our Lord.
"The joy which a man finds in his work and which transforms the tears and sweat of it into happiness and delight -- that joy is God." --H. A. Williams
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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