1 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Are we called just to be successful or faithful? The Word says God will give us good success in Joshua 1:8 so He doesn’t want us to fail, of course, but success is never the goal. Success is a by-product and always follows our faithful obedience and faithfully fulfilling God’s will. In this way we are succeeding when we are being faithful. Faithfulness is success.
Faithfulness, sometimes termed as long obedience in the same direction, or reliability does not always lead to immediate success and may include some suffering and pain. The suffering I’m talking about is not sickness, disease, the curse, or anything Jesus substituted for us on the Cross to redeem us from. I’m talking about the suffering that comes with obedience and being faithful to our calling and the pressure it can bring to us. The pressure of believing something that hasn’t come to pass yet, and the suffering of putting our flesh down when we feel like the easiest thing to do is to just quit. The suffering and pain of believing but seeing no results yet. Have you ever noticed in Hebrews 11 where God gives all the victories of the faithful in verses 1 -23 we see the theme change from the faithfulness that succeeds to the faithfulness that suffers in vv. 24-27?
“24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: FOR HE ENDURED AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE Hebrews 11:24-27.” We know Moses later succeeded in delivering the children of Israel but many overlook the fact that he suffered awhile. Faithfulness that proves true even though it suffers is still recorded by God as the highest kind of success. Faithfulness is success.
The late Dr. Lester Sumrall told me one time that anytime anything new is born or birthed especially in ministry there’s a time of hurting (suffering) and it is a part of ministry and enduring hardship. To get anything going you will hurt (suffer) and that is where so many quit. No one succeeds without this kind of suffering. If you experience success without your suffering, it is because someone BEFORE YOU suffered (paid a price). If you are suffering now and not succeeding it could be so someone AFTER YOU succeeds. God looks on your faithfulness as success. Remember some are listed in Hebrews 11:13 as, “… these all died in faith, not having received the promises (manifested) but having seen them afar off….” When it is all over, in the end, it is all going to be about faithfulness Matthew 25:14-30. “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Only the reliable will hear, “Well done.” Stay faithful, you are succeeding.