WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 13TH, 2021
TOPIC: THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT HARD WORK
BY T. O. BANSO
“Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time” (Proverbs 12:11 New Living Translation).
Every sane person wants to make progress in life. He wants to pass an exam, prosper in a business, complete a project, achieve personal development, and so. Everybody wants his life to be better. One of the ingredients required to achieve one’s goals is hard work.
Some people will say that to achieve greater productivity or success we need to work smarter, not harder. I believe that the two are necessary. One is not a substitute for the other. They are interconnected. We must work hard and work smart. Modern thoughts cannot nullify what the Bible says about working hard.
Although the biblical definition of success and the societal definition of success are not exactly the same, they both require hard work. Only a dysfunctional society will encourage success without hard work. The Bible says we should work hard. It also wants us to avoid the labour of fools. “The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 New King James Version).
Work hard. To be hardworking means “always doing a lot of work” and “always putting a lot of effort and care into work” (Cambridge Dictionary). It means to be industrious, diligent, dedicated, conscientious, and assiduous. Success is not possible without hard work. However, hard work alone does not guarantee success because there are other factors necessary for success. God is not lazy; therefore, His children should not be. God worked six days and rested on the seventh day. Jesus said, “My Father never stops working, so why should I?” (John 5:17 New Living Translation).
Proverbs 10:5 says, “A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame” (New Living Translation). Look at the contrast between a wise son and the son who sleeps when he is supposed to be working. There is a time to work and a time to sleep.
Someone who sleeps at the wrong time is foolish. The Bible says the glory of young men is their strength (Proverbs 20:29). Unfortunately, the youth in Proverbs 10:5 does not deploy his strength into productive ventures. Such a lazy child will end in poverty or a failure because, in the equation of success in life, hard work (diligence) is a constant!
Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (New King James Version). One cannot make it in life if one fails to engage in hard work. Please note that the second part of Proverbs 10:5 says a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.
Shame is the reward of anyone who sleeps away in the hour of opportunity. That is talking of someone who fails to take advantage of opportunities. Fools waste opportunities but the wise take advantage of them. The Bible says, “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do” (Ephesians 5:15-17 New Living Translation).
The Contemporary English Version says, “Act like people with good sense and not like fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.” The slothful will not make it in life. The Bible does not spare the slothful.
Proverbs 18:9 says, “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (New King James Version). No venture or enterprise prospers in the hands of a lazy person. Things will degenerate or break down under his watch because he will not do the needful. “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Proverbs 13:4 New King James Version).
Intelligence is not enough. Talent, money, and good plans are not enough. Hard work must be added. Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (New King James Version). That means that the diligent will govern, have authority, or have the upper hand.
Jesus said in Luke 2:49: “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’” (New King James Version). A lazy person who says because his father has worked or is working and, therefore, will not work hard will not make it in life. Jesus didn’t show us that example. His Father worked and He worked.
Proverbs 22:29 says, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (King James Version). That means that someone who excels and is sharp, skillful, and an expert in his work will serve kings and not ordinary, common, or obscure people. Wise people will give themselves to hard work, not day-dreaming or depending on their father’s wealth or achievements. “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor” (Proverbs 21:25 New King James Version).
When some lazy persons are scolded for sleeping when they are supposed to be working, they, sometimes, say, “Leave me, I know what I am doing.” But that is what fools usually say. They always feel they know what they are doing and it is always a difficult thing to make them realize their folly. The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes but he is just being a fool.
Proverbs 26:16 says, “The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly” (New King James Version). He is a fool who worships his ideas and never considers others’ advice. That is “Mr. Know-it-all.” “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26 New King James Version). Proverbs 12:15 says the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; don’t wreck your life.
But this is God’s counsel to every lazy person: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11 King James Version).
Don’t be lazy. Work hard but also work wisely. “Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time” (Proverbs 12:11 New Living Translation). There will always be a reward for your diligence. 2 Timothy 2:6 says the hardworking farmers are the first to enjoy the fruit of their labour. Your labour shall not be in vain Jesus’ name. You will eat the fruit of your labour.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of slothfulness today. I will work hard and work wisely in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to live wisely, not as fools. Father, let not my labour be in vain Jesus’ name. Crown my labour with success.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947