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Making the Best of a Tough Job

Mar 30, 2017

Program D-7804

If you find yourself in a job you don’t like, try asking God what he has to teach you through this job. Go to God and say, “Lord, I’m in a job I hate and I can’t get out. Why am I here? What are you trying to teach me or do through me in this job?”

You remember Joseph—sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, treated unfairly and cruelly by his captors, and wrongly imprisoned for two years for doing the right thing. Then God delivered him from that prison and he became second-in-command to the Pharaoh. Joseph said of his bad experience that his brothers meant harm to him when they sold him into slavery, but God meant it for good. (Genesis 50:20) Joseph allowed God to turn a terrible experience into a blessing. Please note, however, that God was able to turn it into a blessing because Joseph was willing to let him.

God may have you in that job you hate because he has a blessing there for you, but because of your attitude, he can’t work that blessing for you yet. If Joseph had gotten bitter, remained angry, or been rebellious, he would not have been able to interpret the Pharaoh’s dream; he would have rotted in that prison.

Are you rotting in your miserable job because you haven’t given God permission to use it in your life for good? Believe me, there are miracles waiting for you in that job you hate if you will, in humility, make up your mind to work for God, seek his reward, and look for the good that God wants to do for you and through you right where you are. You’ll know contentment even in a miserable job if you have this attitude.

This is the attitude that Jesus had when he was willing to leave heaven and come to earth to die for us. Surely it was a job he didn’t relish! However, he knew God would work redemption through it, so he submitted to the good that God wanted to do by sending him to a job he did not enjoy.


Making the Best of a Tough Job

Mar 29, 2017

Program D-7803

Do you have a hard time making yourself go to work each day because you really don’t like your job? As Christ-followers in the marketplace, we need to show an attitude toward our job that is different from the non-believers around us: whether we like our job or not, we need to learn to be content with our job as long as we have it.

There are some little things you can do to improve the atmosphere where you work. For example, brighten your workspace with something that brings a smile to your face. Maybe it’s a poster of a place you love which you can put up in your workspace. Buy yourself a verse-of-the-day calendar and meditate on the verse as you flip it over each morning. You could also go to our website and sign up to receive my daily devotionals as an email each morning; those can be like a spiritual shot-in-the-arm waiting for you as you get to work. Thousands of people do that each day, and we’ve received lots of positive feedback that those have really helped them approach their workday with an improved attitude.

Another thing is to set some goals for yourself each week—things you can do that will help you grow in the job, learn new skills, or take some positive action toward looking for a new job. I have a friend who is really eager to change jobs right now, so she is quietly networking with people who can help give her guidance as she begins this process.

Meanwhile, as long as you’re in the job you have, don’t allow your desire to leave to cause you to give a poor performance. Instead, set a goal that you are going to do your work even better than ever, and truly pursue excellence in what you’re doing. This will take discipline, but it will be very rewarding. Just because you’re not happy with the job you have doesn’t give you an excuse to slough off and do your work half-heartedly.

Be honest with yourself; ask God to search your heart and show you what part of your dissatisfaction could be your own fault. There’s usually two sides to every story, so don’t be afraid to confront your own attitude and performance, and to recognize where you need to improve.


Making the Best of a Tough Job

Mar 28, 2017

Program D-7802

Do you hate your job? Maybe hate is too strong a word—do you just not like it? Studies show that a large percentage of workers really hate their jobs. Maybe you hate it because it’s boring, or because the people you work with are difficult, or because you have an impossible boss.

Well, if you have a tough job—one you’d ditch if you could—here’s what you do: change employers. That’s right! Just change employers—right now, today! But, you say, “I can’t just change jobs like that.” Oh, I didn’t say change jobs; I said change employers. Paul wrote to the Colossians: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23)

Did you realize you can change employers without changing jobs? Just say out loud, “I no longer work for that company or that person; I have a new boss. I now work for the Lord.” Keep that thought in your mind all day long as you’re working. Keep telling yourself over and over this truth: “I report to Jesus. Therefore, I must be careful how I act. I need to watch my attitude because I have a new boss: Jesus.”

I don’t care how tough your job is or how much you dislike it. If you work for Jesus, if you consider him your boss, if you continually remind yourself that you will give an account to him as to how you performed in your job and, furthermore, that he will reward you if you do a good job, then you can make the best of a tough job.

Believe me, I know because I’ve had to practice this myself. For three years I worked in a job I wanted desperately to leave. During my first year there, I did everything I could to find another job, but nothing happened. Finally I realized God had me there for some purpose, so I decided to work for God, not for that company, and not for that impossible boss. As soon as I changed employers, I was content in that job. Over the next two years, God taught me lessons through that job I didn’t like which I could not have learned anywhere else. He also used me to witness to others who worked there. But nothing good happened until I changed employers.

Make this biblical principle a reality in your life today: Don’t work for people or money or a company; work for Jesus. I promise you, you can make the best of a tough job by changing employers.


Making the Best of a Tough Job

Mar 27, 2017

Program D-7801

It may be true that you can’t stand your job. If you could, you would quit tomorrow! You feel like you’re in a prison because you need a job, you’ve got time and benefits invested in this job, jobs are hard to find these days. And yet, you hate the job you’re in.

I can understand your feelings because I’ve had a job or two like that myself. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians:

…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation….I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)

I want to share how you can make the best of a tough job. If you can learn this secret of being content, as Paul learned it, you can’t lose because your fulfillment and satisfaction will not be based on circumstances—whether you have a terrific job that you love or one that you don’t like so much!

The first thing you need to do is stop feeding negative messages to yourself about your job. The more you say or think, “I hate my job,” the more you will hate it. You accomplish nothing good by daily reminding yourself that you are not happy with your job. Replace wrong thoughts and words with positive ones. Say or think, “I’m grateful to have a job. Some people would give anything to have this job…or any job at all.”

Then, develop a morning routine that starts your day right, for your day is won or lost in the morning hours.  If you wait until the last minute to fall out of bed and rush to work—all the time thinking how much you hate to go to work—you don’t have a chance at having a good day. So, get yourself up earlier; have a structured plan for reading God’s Word each morning; pray for others, and for your own attitude; and leave for work in a joyful mode. We are to rejoice in the Lord always, as Philippians 4:4 reminds us, and that includes when we’re working in a job we don’t like so much.


Bloom Where You’re Planted

Mar 24, 2017

Program D-7800

Have you ever had the run-away blues? You probably know what I’m talking about. The run-away blues are those days, those times in your life when you’d just love to run away. When the thought of going to the airport and catching the next flight out to anywhere but where you are, sounds like a really good idea. Run-away blues—who hasn’t experienced that?

David expressed it so well in Psalm 55. He was in a bad place at that time: his enemies were threatening him, his mind was a jumbled mess, his heart was in anguish, and he was frightened. Now mind you, that was the condition of King David, a man after God’s own heart, a man chosen by God to be the King of Israel. I mean, “Come on, David, why would you want to run-away?” But listen to what he wrote:

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” (Psalm 55:6-8)

David, as God’s appointed king, was doing what he was supposed to do, and yet he longed to fly away and be at rest. Are you right now where David was then? Aren’t you glad he was inspired by God to put his feelings in writing and leave them for you to read today? It says that you aren’t condemned for feeling like you want to run away—even kings have those times. Instead, you have a God who cares, and who can bring release and relief for you right where you are.

After expressing his run-away desires and fears to God, David then says this:

As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:16-17,22)

I’ve talked about blooming where you are planted, so I wanted to leave you with those words of hope today—words from a king who wanted to fly away from where God had planted him.

Even in the midst of doing what God has called you to do, you can lose your bloom and the enemy can steal your joy. If that’s where you are, just call to God, cry out to him. Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will put a new bloom inside of you; your desert will become a garden where you’re blooming once more, and the joy of the Lord will again be your strength.


Bloom Where You’re Planted

Mar 23, 2017

Program D-7799

If you want to be inspired, google “plants that grow in concrete.” You will see amazing pictures of all kinds of flowers and plants that are able to grow in the most difficult and unlikely places. I was totally mesmerized to see lovely flowers growing out of cracks in a sidewalk, beautiful blooms popping up from a pile of old tires—picture after picture of plants that bloomed in the most unlikely and difficult places.

That’s what I’ve been talking about—the challenge each of us faces to make the very best of where we are, blooming where we are planted. The children of Israel were captured and taken from Jerusalem to Babylon, and through the prophet Jeremiah, God told them to bloom right there. You’ll find that story in Jeremiah 29.

But in Psalm 137:1-4, we find this sad passage:

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?

Doesn’t sound like they were blooming there in Babylon, does it? Their joy was gone; their song was dead; they had given up because they were in Babylon rather than in Jerusalem. Notice that they had the opportunity to sing the songs of Zion, the songs of the Lord. They could have shared the truth about the one true God with these pagan people, but their response was, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”

Maybe that’s where you are today. You’re in some place that you don’t want to be: maybe you’re bored, tired, or totally unmotivated, such that you’ve hung your harp on a poplar tree, so to speak, and quit blooming. I’ve been there; I know how that feels. I want to encourage you today to remember that there is a beautiful bloom inside of you, planted there by our God. If you’ll open a little crack and let his sunshine in, you can bloom again right there! His love will shoot up through that crack and you’ll once again bloom where you are planted.

So, go get that harp you hung up on the poplar tree. By faith—not necessarily by feelings—ask God to give you a song to sing right where you are, a song from the Lord even while you’re planted in that place where you don’t want to be. You can turn your Babylon into a garden full of God’s love when you remember that he loves you, and choose to share his love with everyone around you.

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