The workplace is no Garden of Eden. While it is a place where God can bless and reward you, it is also rife with frustration and stress.
Trials take their toll on every conscientious worker, believers and unbelievers alike. However and for the believer, God can use each on-the-job trial as a means to build you up rather than break you down.
Hebrews 12:5-11 speaks to this issue, and verses 7 and 11 are a good summary of the passage.
Hebrews 12:7: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.”
If you let him, God will use your trials to get your attention about things you would not address otherwise. He will guide you through your trials and teach you new things in the process.
“Discipline” in the Greek means to train, educate, or instruct. God’s discipline of his followers is consistent with the actions of loving parents who are training their own child. The parents’ training is purposeful and measured. The parents always have their child’s best interest in mind, even when the child does not understand the parent’s good intentions.
God’s discipline of his children via a trial is the same—purposeful, measured, corrective, and instructional. Like a good parent, God is always for you and never against you. His discipline can be life-changing and, in the end, God’s goal is to make you more like his Son, Jesus Christ.
James 1:12 promises, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial.”
Hebrews 12:11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
At some point in your life you have probably paid for vocational training, e.g., tuition for a college or a trade school course. You paid the price and received the training. God-based, spiritual training is similar, but the price you pay is the painful experience of the trial.
On-the-job trials are like training sessions. You pay a price; they have a beginning and an end; and you are a better person for having completed the course the right way. Don’t waste your next trial by merely coping or complaining. Instead, learn something meaningful and become stronger as a result of the experience.
Arm yourself with Hebrews 12:7 and 11 and approach your trials as learning opportunities. God promises that the fruit of your trial-based learning will be a harvest of righteousness and peace.