The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Earning an honest living is a duty next to the principal duties of Eeman.” [Bayhaqi]
A Muslim man who goes out day after day to earn lawfully for his family is rewarded for every step that he takes in this act of obedience to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Whether he earns or returns home empty handed, he is rewarded by Allah with an eternal reward.
In the selfishness promoted by this-worldly outlooks it makes little sense for someone to spend the major portion of his life earning for others. This a Muslim man does happily, knowing that He is actually doing it to earn Allah’s pleasure.
This life is only a test to see who is the most God-fearing. “The One who created death and life, so that He may test you as to which of you is better in his deeds.” [Surah Al-Mulk, Ayat 2] The examination of life entails restraining oneself from what one desires to do and instead doing what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has prescribed for him during this life. The reward is a never-ending life in Paradise to live as he pleases.