I’m no stranger to periods of disillusionment. My husband and I have had several experiences when we have wondered where God is, and how could this outcome be better than what we had planned? Surely, my motives are good and in line with God’s will so why are we going through this?
Mark Dever (9 marks.org) says ‘Success in ministry primarily means faithfulness’.
You see although at times I have wondered why we have suffered pain, lost friends, lost our home and seemingly been denied ministry (for a time), the Lord was working things out in His perfect timing. It is when we look back in retrospect that we can marvel at God’s amazing work. He does all things well.
Sometimes we can feel as though we are being faithful, acting upon God’s call and obeying His Word but the ‘results’ seem poor. ‘God evaluates His servants on the basis of faithfulness to His call, not results of their ministries’. (Kent & Barbara Hughes). We are called to be faithful in whatever season of life that we are in. Each period of change will bring its own trials and we are to continue to strive towards the goal and shun the devil.
In numbers 20, God directed Moses to speak to a rock to provide water for the Israelites. Moses disobeyed and struck the rock twice with his staff. It proved successful; water gushed from the rock. However, God chastised Moses and forbid him to enter the Promised Land. The means doesn’t justify the end! God was looking for faithful obedience not self reliance.
In 1 Corinthians 3 5-7 we find the essential element required for every season of life – trust in God.
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been ,aking it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
There it is – God. We are God’s field, He is doing the real work, we are His building. We are called to be faithful and leave the rest to Him.
In John 15 v 16 Jesus calls us to bear fruit, yet ironically the fruit ultimately depends upon Him.
When sharing God’s Word, we’re sowing seeds. If we not become weary of doing good, these seeds will bear fruit. Faith and faithfulness go hand in hand. The condition if you like is that we remain in Him. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15 v 5.
Even when the winter seems long, I am learning that God is faithful. He calls us to be faithful and to trust His accompanying promises. He makes everything beautiful in it’s time.