Faithful or Successful?

Written on 01/19/2022
Christian Dunn

Verse: Hebrews 11:39-40

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

After listing so many heroes of the faith for an entire chapter, the author of Hebrews lands here. And the part that stands out to me is "none of them received what had been promised." All these amazing men and women of God - Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Gideon, Rahab and so on - did not receive what had been promised to them. They lived lives of faith, and died deaths of faith, and didn't see the thing they were hoping for.

I wonder with our modern definition of success, if these people would actually be commended? These people were faithful, even when what they were hoping to see didn't come to pass. 

The world measures success by numbers and achievement, but God seems to measure it by faithfulness and obedience. 

I wonder at the end of our lives if we will have been faithful and obedient? 

When Jesus tells the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 he commends the servants in this way: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." (vs 23).

Notice what word he uses: faithful. Not "well done talented servant" or "well done servant with the most influence."  No. Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant. 

What's great is we can all do this. You can be faithful and so can I. I might not be the best speaker, or the most gifted artist, or the smartest scientist, or the most influential personality....but I can be faithful with whatever God has trusted me with. And so can you.

What has God given you to be faithful with? Can faithfulness be the mark of your life? Can faithfulness and obedience become your measure of success?

Help me to be faithful Lord like you are faithful to me!