Grace Works

grace spiritual work Jan 23, 2019

There’s an encouraging line in a psalm of Moses that connects prayer and fruitful work. I’ve prayed it often in the face of writing projects or upcoming speaking engagements.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Ps 90:17 NIV

Moses talks about the work of his hands, but a lot of us work more with our minds. Grace can come along whatever work we’re given to do.

God’s favor—God’s grace—can rest on us in such a way that what we are working on is established. I sometimes look at a piece of work with a feeling of discouragement or weariness. I wish I didn’t, but I sometimes do.

When I feel like this, I often pray something like the Psalm line above. “Lord, you know that there is this podcast script (or this blog post, or this book chapter, or whatever) lying before me. I don’t feel inspired. I don’t feel energized. But I know I’m invited to produce this for the good of others who will read it. May your favor rest on me as I embark on this project. May you give this work roots so that it draws on the energy, the inspiration, the guidance of Your grace.”

It isn’t a magic trick, but I always have some sense of God’s generous presence as I then embark on the work.

Paul had these insights as well. Listen to how he relates the grace of God and the fruit of his life:

“…by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Hard work and God’s generous grace are not opposed to one another. Hard work that is well-rooted in God’s kingdom purposes is profoundly grace-empowered. God’s grace with us enables our work to have a profoundly fruitful effect.

For Reflection

Think about your own work. Where do you sometimes feel tired, uninspired, unmotivated, whatever. Why not let the lines of scripture above be a way of inviting the grace of God to establish your work, guide your work, and make your work more fruitful than you could imagine on your own.

How do you feel as you let these scriptural truths shine on places of weariness or discouragement?

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash


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