by Rick Warren — December 12, 2022
From Building Character
“I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We . . . saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead.”
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (TLB)
Everyone experiences problems at work. But sometimes those problems keep growing to the point that they become overwhelming, and you feel like they’re about to swallow you up.
What do you do then? You do what Paul did when he was overwhelmed.
Remember, Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, and he traveled throughout the world to share the good news. He says in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, “I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We . . . saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead” (TLB).
When you’re experiencing a problem at work that is so overwhelming that you think you’re going to hit the wall, you need to do three things.
First, turn the problem over to God through prayer. You can say like Paul does, “God, I’m overwhelmed. I feel helpless. I’m confused. I feel like I’m not going to make it through.” Cry out to God and surrender the problem to him.
Second, make sure you’re in a small group. In the 2 Corinthians passage, the word “we” is used six times, and the word “us” is used twice. When Paul was going through an overwhelming circumstance in his job, he was not alone. Like Paul, you need fellow believers you can count on. Specifically, you need to have a small group of friends who will study the Bible with you every week, pray with you and for you regularly, and encourage you when you’re going through a tough time at work.
Third, remember that God uses people at work to teach you how to love. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Do all your work in love” (GNT). At work—and in every area of your life—as you learn to get along with other people, you’re actually learning how to love. And learning how to love is what life is all about.
What are some practical ways to learn to love at work? Treat your coworkers how you want to be treated in your job. Show your coworkers that loving them is more important to you than any job skill. And, no matter how difficult work gets, be mindful of loving others like Jesus.
Remember, when work gets overwhelming, you should pray, lean on your small group, and do all your work in love.