Does God care about my success? There are plenty of people in the Bible who had hard lives, and of course there are modern-day missionaries who suffer intensely for the gospel. Does that mean that God doesn’t want me to have success and self confidence in my life? Does he want me to suffer instead of having financial security, satisfaction with life, and fulfillment in my relationships? Here are some reasons to hope for success in your life.
Success According to God
If you are asking these questions, you’re not alone. There are many people who wonder the same thing. And while there are different perspectives on what you should expect in life, I want to offer a viewpoint based on God’s promises and his endless love for you. You have every reason to hope for success, but there is a secret to success that most of the world doesn’t know about. I want to share that with you today and give you confidence!
The Secret to Success
God has already paved the way for us to have success. Let’s start with what we know about Jesus – He died on the cross and came back to life for us. Jesus was the perfect Son of God, and his personal value was infinite. No one can put a price tag on Jesus’s life. Yet he gave up his life for your sake. To him, you were worth that infinite value – he paid an infinite price to be in relationship with you.
Now let’s return to our original question. What does Jesus want my life to look like? Does he want me to have success? By looking at the price God paid for your life, you can know that he cares very much about your life. If he didn’t care about our well-being, then he wouldn’t have paid such an extreme price to redeem us. It would have cost much less for him to let us continue suffering. Jesus’s sacrifice easily answers the question of whether or not God cares about our well-being. He cares infinitely!
We also know that Jesus died to pay the price for our sins and give us eternal life, but it actually goes beyond that. Look at how Jesus defines eternal life in John 17:3. “This is eternal life,” he says – “that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Did you catch that? Eternal life means knowing God. That word, “know,” actually refers to a deep and intimate relationship – the way you know your spouse (1). This deep relationship is what God considers infinitely valuable. And, counter-intuitive though it may seem, it is the secret to success. Here are more reasons to hope for success in your life.
How God Wants Me to Live
“If you dwell in me and my words dwell in you,” Jesus says, “then ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7) This verse outlines the secret to success in God’s kingdom – being in close relationship with him. God is a good God who won’t withhold anything good from us (Psalm 84:11), but what he desires first is relationship. When you are close with him and resting in his provision, he brings you success – and you often don’t have to lift a finger.
The world teaches us that working hard is the only way to success. I’m here to tell you that it is only a small part of finding success in God’s kingdom. My last five employers hired me without me offering a resume or job application – God led the employers to pursue me first. I was gifted a specialized laptop that would have cost me several thousand dollars. This laptop has enabled me to profit from countless video editing projects. God is constantly providing for me and surprising me in ways that I don’t have to work for.
Rest in the Presence of God
I feel like Mary in the Bible – her sister Martha was striving and stressing to please Jesus, but Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet and rested in closeness to him. This is a perfect picture of what Jesus calls “dwelling in him.” Martha thought that, in order for things to get done, she had to do them herself. Mary, on the other hand, was completely okay resting in Jesus’ presence and trusting him to provide.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, here’s one more story to illustrate this secret to success. Have you heard of the little boy who gave Jesus five loaves of bread and two fish, and Jesus multiplied that food to feed over five thousand people? There is no limit to the ways God can provide for you. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Jesus says in Matthew 7:9. “How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
More about reasons to hope for success in your life.
What Makes You Successful?
In closing, you have every reason to expect God to lead you into success if you are dwelling closely with him. Hard work is important, but it has very little bearing on your success in God’s eyes. As you draw close to God and find satisfaction in relationship with him, it will become far easier to trust him instead of taking things into your own hands. You’ll also find that you’re okay with success looking different from what you might have expected.
How do you define success? Is it a certain amount of money, a certain status, or a nice house and a car? God has no problem with these things in and of themselves. You might be surprised at how much money he’s willing to bless you with. But I also want to say that, as you grow closer to him, your picture of success will probably change quite a bit. There have been times when I had little to no money, but I was deeply intimate with God.
During these seasons, I’ve actually been grateful for my lack of money!
Can you believe that? I was grateful because it meant that I got to watch God provide for me every day. I enjoyed watching him bring me exactly the provision I needed – a free meal here, a $10 bill at the bottom of my backpack there. He became my daily bread. I found joy in his surprises, instead of stressing about how to handle my money.
I hope this article has given you hope, and I encourage you to deepen your relationship with God and ask him what success looks like for you. How does he want to bless and provide for you? Remember that he doesn’t want you to live a miserable life – if he did, he wouldn’t have sent Jesus to the cross. If you would like to read more about praying for success, see my other article on the promises of God! You have many reasons those for success in your life!