William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

Faith and the Discomforts of Work

Excerpted from Everyday Religion by C. H. Spurgeon

Fourthly, faith has a very beneficial influence upon the life that we live in
the flesh, for it reconciles a man to the discomforts of his calling. It is not
every calling that is easy or lucrative, or honoured among men. It is a happy
circumstance when a man has espoused a business which is so congenial with his
taste that he would not change it for another if he could: but some find their
trades irksome to them. This is an evil under the sun. Some employments are
despised by the thoughtless, and involve much self-denial, and hence those who
follow them need much faith to enable them to live above the trials of their
position. Faith teaches the humble worker to see Jesus in all his lowliness,
condescending to take upon himself the form of a servant for our sakes. Faith
reads, "Jesus, knowing that he came forth from God and went to God, took a
towel, and girded himself, and washed his disciples' feet." That was one of the
most menial of employments, and if our Lord and Master did not disdain it why
should we be ashamed of the humblest form of service? From henceforth let no man
trouble you, but rejoice because the poor man's Saviour was a servant even as
you are, and he too was "despised and rejected of men."

Your faith ought to help you by arousing your gratitude for deliverance from a
far worse drudgery. You did for Satan things of which you are now ashamed. Any
work for the devil, and for his black cause, would be dishonourable: to rule an
empire for Satan would disgrace us; to wear the crown put on our heads by
sinning would be a horrible curse, but to wash feet for Christ is glorious
service. There is no degradation in anything that is done for God. Faith in God
sanctifies the man, and his calling, too, and makes it pleasant to him to carry
the cross of Christ in his daily labour. There are some who hold their heads
high, who, nevertheless, do things that are disgraceful to humanity, but surely
you and I ought never to think anything a hardship which falls to our lot by the
appointment of divine providence.

Faith is a great teacher of humility; for it bids us think little of ourselves,
and rest alone in God; and because it fosters humility it renders a man's task
pleasant when else it would be irksome. Pride makes a man stiff in the back:
there are some works which he cannot do though he would be happy enough in doing
them if he had not such foolish ideas of his own importance. Hard work is no
disgrace to any man; it is far more degrading to be leading the life of a
fashionable do-nothing. When the Lord makes us feel that we are poor,
undeserving creatures, we do not mind taking the lowest room, or doing the
meanest work, for we feel that as long as we are out of hell and have a hope of
heaven, the meanest service is an honour to us. We are glad enough to be where
God would have us be, seeing Christ has loved us and given himself for us.
Faith also removes discomforts by reminding us that they will not last long.
Faith says of trial, "Bear it! The time is short. Soon the Saviour cometh, and
the poorest of his followers shall then reign with him." Toil on, O weary one,
for the morning light will put an end to thy labour, which lasts only through
the hours of darkness. The glory breaks; the night is wearing away, and the dawn
appeareth. Therefore patiently wait and quietly hope, for thou shalt see the
salvation of God. Thus faith takes the thorns from our pillow, and makes us
learn in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content. Call you this nothing?
Has not Jesus done much for us when by faith in him we have learned to endure
the ills of life with sweet content?


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