Day 10

Give Thanks in Work

from the Give Thanks reading plan

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, Genesis 2:4-9, Genesis 2:15, Nehemiah 2:11-18, Psalm 90:17, Acts 20:35, Colossians 3:17

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, Genesis 2:4-9, Genesis 2:15, Nehemiah 2:11-18, Psalm 90:17, Acts 20:35, Colossians 3:17

Even before the fall, we were created to work (Genesis 2:15). And while it feels good to sleep in on occasion, I believe we all can agree on the immense satisfaction that comes from work. Many of our proudest moments come from a job well done. (I’m looking at you, summer garden strawberries.)

Though we were created for work, the work we have to do is not always work we love. Because of the curse, we will sometimes work really hard and see nothing for our efforts. (I mean, I planted fifty watermelon seeds and not one watermelon. I’m sure it could happen to anyone. No big deal.) For our work to be profitable, the Lord must redeem it and bless it. When everything comes together, we get to do work that we love, work that yields a good result and is blessed by the Lord. I think that’s everyone’s dream.

How do we achieve this dream of perfect work? What can we do to get the Lord to “establish the work of our hands”? (Psalm 90:17). Here’s the tricky bit. We can’t. The favor of the Lord looks different at different times, and wealth and success are not necessarily measures of His favor. Our task is to keep working with a good heart, even when the circumstances are far from perfect.

The greatest work of all is the work of our salvation. That work has already been done by Christ-all our work is secondary to His. So we work from a place of thankfulness and obedience, knowing that the greatest work is already complete.

Nehemiah worked from a place of trust and thanksgiving (Nehemiah 2:17-18). He didn’t know that one of the gates he rebuilt would mark the spot where Jesus would one day enter Jerusalem, riding on a donkey as the people shouted “Hosanna!” (Matthew 21:1-11). We don’t always know precisely what work we are called to do or for what purpose; I find that I rarely know. But we do know we are called to do good work, and that we are called to continue our work faithfully. We work and hope because the greatest work has already been done for us.

Whether you feel you are engaged in the greatest calling of your life, every day singing with purpose, or if you are planting seeds in a garden with little hope that they will sprout, you can echo with Paul: “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).


Rebecca Faires loves the gospel story and needs it every morning when she wakes up to her five little people. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in German from Hillsdale College, and most recently worked as the managing editor and writer at She Reads Truth. She now works from her log cabin in the hills of Tennessee, writing and illustrating books with her favorite mountain man. There she enjoys porch-sitting as it rains, reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and getting in way over her head. She is expecting her sixth baby and her first book in February of 2019.

Post Comments (43)

43 thoughts on "Give Thanks in Work"

  1. Daddy's girl says:

    Very timely for me. I am in the “working really hard and see nothing for [my] efforts” phase. Now that I’m going through such a rough time, I have lost my confidence and I feel like I’m starting all over again. I can keep working with a “good heart”–one step at a time.

  2. Vicki Lynch says:


  3. Churchmouse says:

    Ah the problem is not the work but finding contentment in its purpose. I have held many different jobs. Some I loved. Some, not so much. In hindsight I can see they all held purpose, although I did not always appreciate it at the time. God provided the work and He challenged me to seek contentment in it. That was the hard part! Sometimes I think He had me in a job just to reveal that it was not my skill set. Sometimes I think He had me in a job to take me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes He had me in a job that was fulfilling and a joy. At all times I know He had me in a job to represent Him. To be honest, that was hard because… we’re dealing with human beings here and they /we can be selfish and difficult. Colossians 3:17 was certainly my go-to verse when I needed motivation. It reminded me that I was not just to be a good employee but that I was to be His ambassador. Every job was a mission field. Oh and He reminded me too that my primary mission field was my family. I was, and am today, called to represent Him well there first and foremost.

    1. Emily W says:

      So good and so true!! I can relate to everything you said! I’m so blessed now to be doing something I love, but I’ve had many jobs over the years that were less than enjoyable! Looking back, I can see the many lessons that God was teaching me through those experiences.

  4. Chris Swan says:

    Currently reading Tim Kellers book “Every Good Endeavor”. Excellent book about connecting our work to God’s work!! This devotion was perfect for the day before Thanksgiving!

  5. Whitney Jackson says:

    I needed this glory to God!!! Working has been a challenge for me but I must continue to thank God anyhow

  6. Rachel Sanchez says:

    Holy Spirit, true Helper, help me to give thanks in my work today. You have called me to the most challenging and seemingly most important work of all: raising three beautiful, independent hearts. Thank you for reminding me to give thanks in my work, to work hard and well, and to rest in the peace that YOU have already finished the most important work!

  7. Mari V says:

    I remember when I went back to work full-time. I was nervous. I didn’t want to. I dreaded every Sunday night knowing I had to go to work the next day. Little by little, the Lord gave me a great love for my job. I actually really liked my job. I work in kids care at a local school. My daughter was in kindergarten when I started and I have seen her and the rest of the children grow up. They are now seventh graders! I work with the most amazing people and the most amazing children. Little did I know that God had a plan. I now find myself separated from my kids dad over a year now and this job is providing for me and my kids. I love my job! I love the children there! And I know when I see those little faces with their arms stretched out for a “hug”, I know that I am loved. God’s love! I am so thankful for my job as its brought so much love and joy during my hard times. Some of the little ones are there longer than I am at work so I love on these little ones and pray for them and in return I get a sweet smile and an occasional “I love you teacher!” Melts my heart!

    1. Pam says:

      It’s so good to love your work. I’m thankful these kiddos have you.

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