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The Age of the Shrug

As we look around our world today I doubt if many of us, if we're not already followers of Jesus, can have genuine faith in the future... or faith in pretty much anything for that matter! I heard it said not so long ago that we live in the 'Age of the Shrug' and this seemed to sum up my assessment of so much of life today. Lack of honesty and integrity in public life; rampant spin-doctoring and the cult of celebrity eclipsing any residual statesmanship that may still be around all bring cynicism. Disillusionment and discouragement can so easily sap our zeal, undermine our idealism and quench our energy.

Yes, it's all too easy to become weary of life today and especially our daily work. Where once we approached this with enthusiasm, now many of us just seem to go through the motions. No longer is there that sense of fulfilment. Now we just long for the opportunity to retire.

But if this applies to you, please let me share the following story...

“A preacher who was growing weary in the Ministry had a dream.

He saw himself pounding away at a huge chunk of rock with a

sledge-hammer. It was his job to break it into small pieces. But,

hard as he tried, he couldn't chip off even a tiny piece. At last, tired

and disappointed, he decided to give up. Just then a stranger

appeared and said, 'Weren't you given orders to do that work?

Your duty is to give your best, regardless of what happens.'

The preacher, with a renewed determination, lifted his hammer high in

the air and gave the granite a crushing blow. It broke into a thousand pieces. He had almost given up – one blow too soon!”

This surely reminds us of the importance of perseverance. If you're a Christian the Lord wants you to keep working at your God-given, or at least at your God-permitted tasks, no matter how difficult or unfulfilling you may be finding them. After all, I'm sure that for many of us these days the heat of the battle is in the slog! But even when we feel we're running out of steam we can look to our Lord Jesus, who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the great 'steam-giver'. But remember if you're labouring 'under the cosh' then the Lord well understands. And we need to take hold of His great promises to us...

'The Lord is the everlasting God... he gives strength to the weary and increases

the power of the weak... those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.'

Isaiah 40: 28-31

By committing our future to the Lord we can rely confidently on His special help in the midst of our struggles. If we're tempted to 'throw in the towel' it would help for us to reflect upon God's promise spoken by the Apostle Paul....

'Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall

reap if we do not lose heart.'

Galatians 6:9

And remember, however dire our circumstances... now is not forever!

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Angus Bell
Angus Bell
Aug 23, 2023

Brother, this was so encouraging to me after stepping into the secular workplace this week for the first time! I definitely see a lot of shrugging from my colleagues already and could be tempted to do the same, so thank you for the encouragement that I have an eternal ‘steam-giver’ In Christ! Bless you Barry, praying for you often :)

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Hello, welcome to my blog site.

I hope you will find this inspiring, encouraging and challenging.

Reflections of a Jesus follower

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