God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ who promised to give rest to all who laboured and were heavy laden, when they came unto him (Matthew 11:28).
The Bible tells us that God worked (Genesis 1-2), and then God gave man the work of ruling over and taking care of His creation (Genesis 1:28) sending the first man, Adam, into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Even after Adam was expelled from the garden, he was still charged with tilling the ground from whence he was taken (Genesis 3:23). God intends that humans are to work as long as they live (Genesis 3:19). The age of 65 shouldn’t end meaningful, purposeful and productive work, whether paid or volunteer.
After Jerusalem had been destroyed and the residents taken into captivity, Nehemiah was permitted to return to Jerusalem as governor. In the face of threats, sarcasm, false accusations and sudden attacks he oversaw the rebuilding of the wall of the city in 52 days. It was completed in that extremely short amount of time because the people had a mind to work (Nehemiah 4:6).
God expects His people to work today, also. In the first of Paul’s epistles in this new administration of grace he instructed God’s people to “. . .study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing (I Thessalonians 4:11-12). He follows up in the second epistle he wrote them reminding them what he had told them when he was present with them.
II Thessalonians 3:10-12:
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Later when he wrote Ephesians he says: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28).
These references seem to refer to work that provides for one’s physical sustenance. But there is another kind of labor — doing the work of the Lord. What is the work of the Lord? Comparing the work he did, to the work that provides for one’s physical sustenance, Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus saw the harvest of souls coming to them and he knew they all had immediate work to finish for the Lord that very day (John 4:35-38). Later in the Gospel of John Jesus distinguishes between the two labors saying:
John 6:27-29: Message Bible
Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” 28 To that they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”29 Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
Expending our energy striving for perishable food should not be the driving force in our lives. Rather we should work for the food that sticks with us and nourishes us everlastingly. That’s food the Son of Man provides. Let’s commit to him and get in on the works of God.
Both kinds of work are ordained of God. We rarely forget the first for we get hungry rather quickly. Let’s resolve to never forget the second either. God has promised to fill the hunger and thirst of everyone seeking His righteousness (Matthew 5:6). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). He will assuredly “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (II Thessalonians 2:17).