Using that standard, Jesus, would not be considered a success. Born in a manger, worked for a brief period as a carpenter, then hit the road with a gang of guys. He had no home, no wealth, had to borrow transportation, He wasn’t very popular, died poor, and was buried in a donated tomb. Hardly a success story.
We spend so much time chasing success, but we can’t define it. In a way chasing success is like chasing the wind; you never really catch it. There is always a newer car, bigger house or promotion that we need to feel more successful. There is something in us that longs to be complete, a success, a respected individual, and satisfied. The problem is, we are looking for the wrong things to fill the hole in our lives that no amount of success can fill.
Jesus told us, “Do not lay for yourselves treasurers on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay your treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For here your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21.
The difficulty in living a Christian life in a secular would, is we struggle with the present, and how others perceive our success. No one wants to be seen as a doormat, or a loser; and it is very difficult to remember our time here is short, and our rewards wait for us in heaven. Like everyone else, we want some now; we don’t want the struggle, we want the easier life. That is when faith and trust must kick in. The focus of our success must be Christ centered, not self-centered.
Friends, family, and the world will judge your success by man’s standard and may abandon you when tough times come. Jesus, however, will not leave you, or turn His back on you. Others will block your messages, not answer the phone, and duck across the street when they see you coming; Jesus is there, always. He will listen, and comfort.
You may not understand why something has happened, if things will work out, or how they could possibly work out. Remember, life is a mystery. If it wasn’t it would be boring, and we wouldn’t need Jesus to lean on in times of trouble.
“He alone is my rock and my salvation; my fortress where I will not be shaken.”