The Joy of Completed Work


As an author, I experience the thrill of feeling God’s pleasure as I write. But I also go through dry times, difficulties. This new year is one of those times. I’m thankful for dear friends and a prayer team who encourage me through. I’m thankful for Jesus who speaks words of insight into the situation.

I think about Jesus, how He must’ve felt leaving earth after His resurrection. He left a ragtag group of men and women, terribly clay footed, on the heels of many personal betrayals. Peter denied Him three times. His disciples scattered in fear. On the road to Emmaus, two didn’t recognize Him.

I wonder, in the human part of Jesus, if He struggled not seeing His work completed or seemingly rewarded. That’s my struggle today, of on the one hand knowing I’m doing God’s work as a writer, but on the other hand not seeing tangible results.

I remember Jesus sitting down at the right hand of the Father, having completed His work, and yet, His work in us is still ongoing. There’s tension there, I think. Completed work, a feeling of accomplishment, yet a longing to see all work completed, all ends tied up.

Jesus said this: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4. Could it be that when I struggle and wonder if my words are making a difference that my focus is on earthly, tangible rewards? Could it be that I’m striving more for things that are seen rather than things that are not? Perhaps the work God has called us all to is a quiet, unrecognized one, one that costs us, one that will be rewarded by the God who sees in secret.

Jesus endured the cross for “the joy set before Him.” I fear I’ve wanted the joy here. Now. Today. But He calls me to think of the joy then, in the Great Future. And that’s why He could sit down when He accomplished His work on earth. He had One Master. He kept close to the Father, heard His voice, did His bidding, no matter how counterintuitive or countercultural it may have seemed. And even though His work seemed incomplete (meaning the disciples hadn’t come into their own yet), He knew the entire plan and rested in that.

Since I don’t know the entire plan, I will rest on the sovereignty of God. Or I’ll try. I, by God’s grace, will write for the joy set before me, enduring whatever trials come my way. I pray I can rest there. I pray you can, too.