Applying the Goodness of God to Trials at Work

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When I started this blog I thought it would be mostly about my life as a Christian in the workplace, covering the day in and day out of what it’s like to be smack dab in the center of corporate America.  Slowly but surely I’ve seen my writing shift from this somewhat narrow topic to a wider topic of my walk as I begin to understand more of God’s goodness and begin to apply it.

Yet as I wake up this morning and start thinking about the day ahead,  I realize that there is no ignoring the intermingling of my faith with my work.  Sometimes I feel like they are separate entities of my life, and sometimes I can see the lines blur between the two – all depending on the day or how well I feel I represented God.

As of recently, I’ve reached a point of feeling overwhelmed at work which is the tipping point for either putting my head down and trudging through or for lifting my head up and seeing God in the moment.  When dissect this further, it’s pretty obvious that my work naturally produces more stress and demands more of me than my marriage, my family, and my friends. Business relationships have more conflict, criticism, and politics than any of my personal relationships, and as a chronic people pleaser I often get emotionally invested in work because I desperately want to please my coworkers and our clients.

In a nutshell, this pattern isn’t dependent on God and the results aren’t pretty. If I feel lost at my next step at work, this feeling carries over into other areas of my life.  If an idea or a project that I’ve worked on isn’t liked by a client, I often feel personally offended or completely lost.

So the question I raise to God this morning is, “How do I know and apply the Goodness of God in the midst of trials at work?”.  As I read the Bible this morning, I am met with a few answers/realizations.

  1. Anything that gives me a need for God is a good thing.  Over and over again I see Paul rejoice in his sufferings because he believed his sufferings produced a need for God. I realize that my work is always giving me more of a need for God than really any other aspect of my life, and I should praise God for that because it proves that he’s pursuing me and able to turn even bad experiences into ultimately good experiences to know and share the gospel. Hebrews 12:7 it says, “It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”.
  2. I should never be surprised at trials.  Paul says in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
  3. Trials are momentary.  Finally, it’s all about my perspective.  In response to a heart that frequently tells myself “there is no end in sight”, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are seen are eternal.”

God has been gracious to me for reminding me to look at his scripture and remind myself of his promises.

 

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