Success is a word that we all like to embrace. After all, who doesn’t want to be successful at whatever it is they turn their hand to? But as alluring as it may be, success is a deceptive concept.

Now, I’m not saying that success is a bad thing – at least not in and of itself. On the one hand, we can strive for success in the wrong things for the wrong reasons, going about it all in the wrong way. That’s how I lived much of the first half of my life and I don’t recommend it.

On the other hand, it’s a good thing to labour hard for the Lord; to follow His calling, doing our utmost under His hand, in His power, to see His plan unfold for His glory.

Consider the Old Testament Prophets – Isaiah, Ezekiel, Job and the like – it’s easy to consider them a success at all they achieved. But hang on just a minute:

James 5:10,11 Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They suffered many bad things, but they were patient. And we say that those who accepted their troubles with patience now have God’s blessing. You have heard about Job’s patience. You know that after all his troubles, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind.

In other words, the “success” that others perceive in us is just the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface it involves hard work, persistence, late nights, rejection, sacrifice, discipline, criticism, doubts, failures, risks. That’s what success looks like in the Kingdom of God.

But remember, all that shows that the Lord is full of mercy and that He’s kind.

That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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