At some point in human life, one might question his capabilities and compare himself to others. Some might wonder why other people can easily get what they put their minds to while others can't achieve their goals despite putting in full effort and time.
Nick Batzig, the senior pastor and church planter of Church Creek PCA, shared that during such a time, he goes back to what the scripture says in Ecclesiastes 9:11. The scripture noted that there's "time and chance happened to all" but the pastor claimed that there were numerous truths about God's sovereignty over success and achievement.
In times of struggling against the uncertainty of human success and achievement, he listed several points to remember when people feel like an underachiever:
God's Favor Cannot Be Measured by Human Standards
According to Batzig, people were more accustomed to evaluating their success by human standards rather than reflecting on their deeds if it pleases God or not. He explained that it was the main point of Apostle Paul who also claimed to have worked harder than anyone (1 Corinthians 15:10) and to have made it his aim to please God (2 Cor. 5:9).
The pastor emphasized that people have an option to advance their kingdom or God's kingdom. In another statement, the same Apostle asked, "Am I now looking for man's acceptance of God's approval? Or am I attempting to win over men? I wouldn't serve Christ if I still tried to appease people (Galatians 1:10).
Human Applause Is Vanity
In Psalm 49:18, the psalmist noted how people applaud him when he does well for himself. Batzig explained that when people do things just for praise, it has no cause but just shallowness.
Charles Spurgeon explained the emptiness of human praise in his book "Treasury of David." He explained that no matter what wealth a person achieved in his life, human praise can not follow a departing person. Spurgeon wrote, "Alas! poor wealth, thou art but the rainbow coloring of the bubble, the tint which yellows the morning mist, but adds no substance to it."
God Protects Christians To Greater Fall
Batzig explained that sometimes God impedes human desires for people's sake. He said that people would be astounded on judgment day to realize how many times God prevented certain desires to protect them. According to the pastor, it's evident in Genesis 20:6 that God did not permit Abimelech to touch Sarah to prevent him from sinning against Him.
The pastor encouraged people to consider it a gift from God when He sometimes prevented them from attaining a high position to keep them from falling far and quickly from sins.
God Is The Great Reward
When a person had accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, he became a part of a community that waits for the coming of the Lord or the day he will meet his creator. The pastor explained that sometimes God prevents people from attaining greater earthly success so that they can learn to find joy in Him regardless of their circumstances.
He explained that this was the concept behind the prayer of a man who asks for enough provision in Proverbs 30:8-9, not too much or not too low to disown the Lord. Batzig said that it might be challenging for people to be contented with just having enough resources, but he encouraged people to trust God's sovereignty in their circumstances.
In Jeremiah 45:5, Baruch, Jeremiah's penman, sought some recognition for his contribution to the prophet's message. However, God forbade him not to seek greater things for themselves. Instead, he promised him everlasting protection wherever he will go.
The pastor noted that the Lord desires to cultivate a spirit of contentment in His redemption towards people. He also explained that it was also the basis of God when He rebuked the people of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:13). He explained that the Lord frequently teaches people to treasure Him above all things by withholding greater measures of success.
God Teaches Contentment
The pastor explained that God gives each people their lot in life. He said that not all people can become Peter or Paul. He encouraged people to learn from Sinclair Ferguson's popular saying "to play the second fiddle well." He taught people to accept their role in life to function harmoniously with others for greater success.
Batzig emphasized that God gave each people different gifts to be used in worshipping God. He said that every leader needs a supporter like Barnabas to Paul or John to Peter because different members serve different purposes.
He emphasized that learning to fulfill the job that God wants people to fill with joy and contentment brings about a great deal of blessing. However, the pastor warned Christians to avoid being entitled to blessings (Rom. 12:3). He encouraged people to embrace the gifts they received from God and use them according to His will.
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