I haven't blogged for well over a week so what better way to get back into the swing of things that to unpack wisdom from our friend CH Spurgeon.
We all encounter ups and downs as we work. At times, things go well for us, and other times we experience adversity or trials at work. If you're like me, it's easy to get tossed about emotionally. How do we stay consistently joyful through these ups and downs?
Here's what Spurgeon would say about these up and down feelings we encounter in our work - "...faith has a happy influence upon this present life, for it moderates a man's feelings towards his work." If inconsistent feelings are my problem, then Spurgeon would say that faith toward God is the answer.
"...perchance the result of all our work may be adversity. Some men row very hard, yet their boat makes no headway. When an opportunity comes their way, the tide of trade turns against them... Perhaps they lose all but their character, then it is faith that comes in to cheer them under the disaster."
It is faith that enables us to joyfully accept God's will when it seems things aren't going our way.
"We shall bear up and come through our trials triumphantly if we have faith in God. If our Father has appointed a bitter cup for us, shall we not drink it? ... Must it not be right if the Lord ordains it?... How many have been happy in poverty, happier than when they were in wealth! How often have the saints rejoiced more during sickness than in their health...faith has learned to sing in all weathers because her God is still the same"
Sometimes it is not adversity that trips us up but prosperity. We've discussed the test of prosperity before. Here is Spurgeon's take on the test of prosperity -
"Sometimes the result of our work is prosperity and here the grace of God prevents a surfeit of worldly things. There is a keen test of character in prosperity. Everybody longs for it but not every man can bear it when it comes. "
Yet, this is where faith is tested and proven true by restraining our sinful hearts and directing us to God.
"True faith forbids our setting great store by worldly goods and pleasures and enjoyments, for it teaches us that our treasure is in heaven...Many a man has reached the summit of his lifelong ambition and found it to be vanity. In gaining all, he has lost all; wealth has come but the power to enjoy has gone...It shall not be so with the man who lives by faith, for his chief joys are above and his comforts lie within. To him, God is joy so rich that other joy is comparatively flavourless."
Whether we find our work mired in adversity or flourishing in prosperity, Spurgeon urges us to keep the eyes of our faith set on God.
"O brothers and sisters, faith is a precious preparative for anything and everything that comes; mind that you have it always ready for action. Do not leave it at home in time of storm as the foolish seaman left his anchor...Oh, to feel the power of it, as to all that comes of our labour, that the life which we live in the flesh, may be lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us."