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Facing Evil as Faithful Witnesses (Grace at Work 5/5)

Healthy plants have deep roots and strong pillars have solid foundations. If we are to be Christians who are deeply rooted in Christ and built on the solid Rock, then we need more than mere sound bites. One means that the Lord has used throughout church history to strengthen His people’s faith and witness is reading good books. This book review series is identifying books that can serve as shovels that help you dig deeper in your Christian life.


Book: GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell. 

 

Perhaps the chapter “Evil” is the most helpful in our struggles with seemingly unfulfilling, boring, or difficult work. The author acknowledges that, “Yes, there is much good that God intended to accomplish through our labors, but there is much evil in the working world that resists his intentions and opposes the good we want to accomplish” (p. 145). Many of us know how difficult it is when we have a boss or co-workers who demean us, we get bypassed in a promotion we think we deserve, or we have a workplace where God’s name and perverse language is used without let-up. Scripture warns us that we will have tribulations and we are encouraged to “take up a daily cross” (Matt. 16:24-25). The author reminds us that by “striving for Christ-honoring relationships, and exhibiting godly character the Holy Spirit is forming us into followers of Jesus who are more Christlike in habits and heart” (p. 154). We must learn to forgive, and yes, we may seek justice when we are wronged. The Lord heard the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, and likewise we should not turn a blind eye to those in our society who are suffering wrongful conditions or are unable to work.


The book closes with the examples of Daniel in Babylon and the young slave girl who advised Naaman to go to Israel for healing. They respected and had understanding for our sinful leaders. More so now than ever, our government and church leaders are under heavy burdens. They are sinners like we are, placed in positions to exercise authority. That includes our church leaders. They often make difficult decisions and need our prayers for their work. Of course, “abusive behavior and unjust treatment should be confronted and corrected, but even then, the rule of righteousness rather than revenge must be our goal” (p. 186). Scripture admonishes patience, just as the Lord is patient with us.


This is a book of encouragement and balance, as related in the chapter entitled “Balance,” where the author quotes a versification of Psalm 127: Unless the LORD builds the house/ those who build it labor in vain/ Unless the LORD watches over the city/ the watchman stays awake in vain. The final chapter cites the Beatitudes to be faithful witnesses in our work and an encouragement to be diligent whatever the circumstances. Heartily recommended reading for everyone, especially for youth and young adults.


Most of our waking hours will be spent at work. Why not invest a few hours now to think deeper about this critical aspect of life by reading this book?

 

GRACE AT WORK – Redeeming the Grind & the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell.  Published by Crossway, 1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, Illinois, 60187, 2022. Softcover, 233 pages.


Buy this book by clicking here.


-       This is adapted from Mrs. Ricky (Frederika) Pronk’s book reviews in The Messenger. She is a member of Grace Free Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario and, together with her husband Rev. C. Pronk, is involved in Reformed Book Services

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