While our eternal reward/wealth is currently being stored for us in the Heavenly realm, there is absolutely no reason we can’t enjoy God’s favor and blessing-in everything we do-right now, today. I love to read about Joseph, and how those around him, who, if you think about it … weren’t believers … yet, they recognized the fact that God was with him, and it was God who allowed all Joseph did to prosper …
We are all in the middle of “something,” be it job, financial, or personal related. And, to be successful, we need-we must have- God’s favor. I think of Daniel. Simply put, here is the reason for Daniel’s great success: “Now God had brought Daniel into favor” (Daniel 1:9). We all know Daniel prayed, and read the Scriptures … there’s that “pray and read your Bible” example again … But, what about those around him? Were they aware of Daniel’s devotion to God? Remember that it would be Daniel’s faithfulness to prayer which his enemies would use to trap him … which led Daniel to be thrown into the den of lions … Another reminder that if you are the “real deal,” those around you will know it. Period. Yes, they may use it against you, but what kind of “Christian ammunition” are you giving those around you?
So … can you be in government … and be a Christian? Can you be in government and allow those around you to know of your faith? This may appear to be a tough question (which is unfortunate), or even a “trick question.” Yet, think of the two men we have mentioned, in this writing, from history: Joseph and Daniel. Joseph became second-in-command-next to the Pharaoh himself, of the most powerful nation on earth. What about Daniel? After Daniel had interpreted the dream of the great King Nebuchadnezzar (which Daniel had volunteered to do), here’s what the King had to say to Daniel:
“The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldst reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon …”
It is interesting that in both cases (Joseph and Daniel), it was the interpretation of dreams which God used to have these men promoted. And, both men served governments in a foreign land. What was constant in both men’s lives is that regardless of the fact that they lived in what would be considered “godless” times, serving under what would be considered “godless” governments, serving what would be considered a “godless” overall population, both serving in the most difficult of national circumstance … those in power and authority recognized their faith … and recognized from Whom each received their wisdom and knowledge from …
So, if you are the “real deal” … or not … those around you will know.
One of the greatest statements I’ve ever heard is from Pastor David Jeremiah:
“Circumstances don’t change character. They reveal character.”
So, let’s talk about promotion.
It’s true: If you will just work hard, be honest, show up every day, and not cause trouble, you can’t hide. “They” will notice you. I often say this about work: Isn’t it true that, when you are brand new at a job, it only takes a couple of days to figure out who works and who doesn’t. Who you can trust and who you can’t. Who is committed and who is not. Etc.
Make no mistake about it: Your talents and abilities come directly from the Lord. And, so do your promotions. Psalms 75:6-7 says it best: “For promotion (exaltation) cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up (exalts) another.” Yes, I do have that written on a card!
Here’s what Paul said about work, in Colossians 3: 23-24: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Two words, then four:
Trust God. He can be trusted.
Pray for wisdom. Read the Bible.
Read God’s promises. And … believe them … because they are true. Lay hold on the hope which you have because of God’s promises … which can not, and will not, fail.
God’s Word is His counsel. Believe, and trust in, His counsel:
“Wherein God, willing (determining) more abundantly to show the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel … That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation … to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast …”
Yes, life can be so tough … but, it didn’t just start being tough. It’s always been difficult, and yes, sometimes it seems, things appear to get worse the more we try to live by faith … Consider, however, that we weren’t as “open for attack” before we became a Christian. I used to say this about someone bragging about not ever being bothered:
“Satan never bothers me!”
My response: “Maybe that’s because you never bother him!”
The reason it is so important to “live out” your faith is because you never know who is watching you … but, rest assured … they are. In fact, it is safe to say, especially when you get hit with trouble or difficult circumstances or a tragedy … that it’s “all eyes on you!” Everyone will be waiting … watching … to see how you handle it! Maybe many of them (even unbelievers who recognize what you have) have come to you for advice … now … they will be watching to see what you do … how you act … how you react …
To “witness” if you are the “real deal,” after all.
These are the times you can be the greatest witness of all.
Yeah … but do I have to let other people-especially at work (!!!) know that I am a Christian?
The best way I can answer that is this:
Whether you are.
Or, whether you are not.
The two examples, Joseph and Daniel, were the same … at work, or not.
And, everyone knew it.
Paul put it this way:
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of (the fragrance of) Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish”
(2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
That settles it! Everywhere we go, through Christ, we will triumph, as well as show forth the reason why … Everywhere we go … among those who are saved, and those who aren’t …