Command and circumstance

When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice.  In other words, that I have a ‘right’ to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.

Francis Chan

I came across this quote on one of the blogs I follow, and it seemed very relevant to students such as myself at exam time.

The joys of hard work

In recent weeks I’ve had a lot on my plate. I am continually amazed by how much work is generated by being on the committee of a Christian Union. I still don’t know what causes it all – it seems to be a continual supply of one-offs provided by God to encourage me to rely more on His all sustaining grace.

It’s incredibly tempting at times to feel resentful of the amount of responsibility I have. Not only do I have a to-do list as long as Lee’s hair, but I’m also meant to find time to pray for God’s blessing on it all? Ridiculous!

As I sat listening to Ludovico Einaudi and preparing a Bible study for the RUCU committee meeting last week I was struck by the joy of salvation, and the privilege of serving God. I’d chosen to look at Psalm 116, which is well worth a read any day of the year. The Psalmist speaks about his salvation, and his gratitude shines through in each sentence before he turns his attention to serving and worshipping God. Having written about this joyous subject, the Psalmist ends in the only way he knows how – “Praise the Lord!”

Suddenly giving up a few hours of revision time doesn’t seem so bad. The same God who raised Jesus from the dead and has given me new life is sustaining me and enabling me to work for Him! I can work hard for God’s glory in God’s power! I know God expects me to give my whole life to Him, but He expects no more. God wants 100% from me – but not 110%! He doesn’t want me to do more than He has enabled me to do. God has called me to work hard for His glory, and to trust Him with the results of it. This applies to revision, organising CU events, doing housework, talking to friends, and everything inbetween!

I don’t expect my struggles to disappear. I don’t expect to be able to get the balance between working for my degree, serving the CU and spending time with friends right. I don’t expect to know how much time to spend relaxing. But I do expect God to help me learn. I do expect God to bless the work I do for Him. Most of all, I do expect God to glorify Himself through me. And no other thought has made me appreciate my work so much!

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