The End of Thorns and Thistles

“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him”  (Revelation 22:3).

Our frustrations at work come from our working environment: it’s cursed. When we view work correctly, as worship to God, we can experience a lessoning of work’s bitterness. But we still labor amid thorns and thistles. The ground remains cursed. People still fight to have their way, machines break down, and we grow tired and sometimes sick. We sometimes face a layoff, or a change in management that leaves us high and dry. When we ponder these things, we should also remember a couple of vital truths that will lighten the load:

1. God provides His grace to help us in our labors.
The term “grace” can mean God’s favor or even a God-given ability (1 Peter 4:10). Whatever God calls us to, He provides grace to fulfill. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). He gives seed to the sower (2 Corinthians 9:10) and strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:28-31). He will provide strength for your earthly labors until you meet Him face to face. You do not labor alone, and He will provide His presence to fill you with joy and peace.

2. God grants us hope of a glorious future.
One day we will serve God without the frustration that thorns and thistles bring. He will remove all pain (Revelation 21:4) and any remnants of the curse (Revelation 22:3). He will provide us with a body like Christ’s own glorious body (Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2). Presently we labor in a creation that longs for liberation:

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:22).

Not to dampen your day, but we can’t do much now to remove the sting of the curse. But we can ponder our glorious future as Peter reminds us:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Our future hope lifts our spirits even as we labor in this present world. We will not cease working for God in heaven. But, unlike now, every moment of every day will be filled with maximum joy and contentment. In fact, our situation improves even beyond Garden of Eden conditions.

As we continue in this life in rather unpleasant conditions, we should look forward to a time when God renews our bodies, and the earth on which we walk. Our future reality produces a present hope that does not fade away.

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