How Do I Know If It’s Success or Being Blessed?

Do you ever wonder why God seems to ‘bless’ the proudest of people? Does it ever disturb you that the most successful are at times the biggest scoundrels?

God can still accomplish great things through proud people, and He at times even blesses the work of the pompous. However, we shouldn’t necessarily equate success with honor. Popularity is not the same as blessing. The Scriptures say it this way:

Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

Any one of us can find ourselves in the midst of notoriety and accomplishment yet still miss out on the joy, peace, and gratitude that accompanies true honor from God. In the Hebrew language this Old Testament word for honor poetically refers to the soul of humanity. It’s not a reference to our outward performance but rather our heart’s well-being.

I am incredibly grateful that God is gracious to the proud, among whom I am first. However, if a person is inwardly rotting away from pride they are not experiencing the blessing of God, no matter how popular or successful their life may seem to be.

The pathway to true honor always come through humility. A heart that is being cultivated for God is always an indicator of true blessing. So I am asking myself these kind of questions…

1. Do I experience joy in God’s blessings?
OR Do I constantly crave more, bigger, and better?

2. Do I fully acknowledge the hand of God in everything (good and bad)?
OR Do I only focus on circumstances and situations?

3. Do I use my platform to point to Christ?
OR Do I try to take the credit?

4. Do I have a spirit of gratitude?
OR Do I constantly criticize & complain?

5. Do I have a continuing commitment to my personal/private spiritual formation?
OR Do I neglect ‘practicing what I preach’?

Paul sums up these ideas best in this passage…
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Christ’s Love in Doubts & Darkness

George Matheson the author of this old hymn, renewed by Robbie Seay, provides a treasure of encouragement for those in the valley . Through a deep time of personal pain and doubt he wrote about his eclipse of faith. He endured a time so dark he, for a season, left the ministry. On top of the prior hymn, he also wrote a testimony of hope for believers who at times struggle with doubt, for those who…
-hear not the bells of Easter mourn
-tread the road to Emmaus but don’t meet the risen Christ
-stand on the mount of Galilee but hear no voice
-frequent the Upper Room but get no hint of his presence

Matheson says “My faith cannot walk by sight in hours like these. Lord what shall I do? Hast thou a remedy for the loss of light? Yes, my Father, Thou hast a gate where faith can enter without seeing where it goes. Its name is love.”

He powerfully continues, crying out, “If I cannot soar with Him in heaven, let me at least go back to finish his work on earth. Let me mourn with the Martha’s whose Lazarus’ I cannot raise. Let me pray with the paralytics whose weakness I cannot cure. Let me sing to the sightless whose eyes I cannot open. Let me lend to the lepers the touch of a brothers hand. Let me find for the fallen a chance to renew their days. Then shall my Easter morn shine again through all the clouds of night. Then shall I know the meaning of the words, ‘Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.‘ ”

The love of Christ is sure and strong! Our only hope is found in Jesus and his redeeming love. He will not fail, He will not forget, He will not falter! So we too, with Matheson declare…

O love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be