Are you working hard at your career or ministry and trusting God to use you?
Do you wonder if you’ll ever experience the success you hope for? Do you find it difficult not to be jealous when God seems to bless others in their efforts more than He blesses you in yours?
You want to be glad for others’ success, but you can’t help wondering when it will be your turn to be recognized. If you’re a pastor, when will your congregation grow? If you’re a speaker, singer or songwriter, when will your talent (and message) finally take off? If you’re an architect or engineer, when will others appreciate your designs?
As an aspiring writer, I can relate. But could it be that our view for God’s plan is often short-sighted?
First Peter 5:6-7 helps me gain the perspective I want. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Consider these twin thoughts by visualizing God’s hand as a canopy over you as you cuddle in His protection. Ask him to help you trust him as your Lord (the boss of your life) and, especially, as your loving heavenly Father.
The Amplified Classic Edition says that God “cares for [us] affectionately and cares about [us] watchfully.”
Don’t you love that?
When we commit our dreams, expectations and disappointments to God, we keep our relationship with him (and our faith in him) our priority. Sometimes our dreams and expectations of promotions or fame aren’t God’s plan for us. Or at least not his plan for us right now. Can we be okay with that? Can we trust him to know what’s best?
How might changing our focus from “Why isn’t God blessing my efforts?” to “Lord, I give You my life for your pleasure and purpose,” change our outlook and help us serve God better?
This different perspective might help the pastor who prays for a bigger church realize that spiritual growth in his congregation is more important than attracting more people. The same goes for the singer who wants a larger audience or the engineer who wants a bigger client list. Both fail to consider the impact their work is already making with current fans or clients.
Wouldn’t you love to peel back the curtain and see our father’s pleasure when we serve him at our jobs or in our ministries with a pure heart, especially when we don’t receive any recognition?
And then imagine how much grander his delight will be when we continue to serve him with a pure heart while congratulating and praying for those who seem to be enjoying better success.