It can be very easy to feel like who I am, what I do, what I’ve achieved etc. is not worth much. What if I never become “successful?”
“What do you hope to do with your life? What are your goals and plans for the future?”
Questions like these can be hard to answer. Some people seem to know exactly what they want and how they are going to get there. But maybe for you these questions bring up feelings of worry, stress, unrest, feeling useless and much more. Sound familiar?
In this world what is important to most people is to grow up, get an education, get a good job, maybe start a family, etc. As long as you have some goals you are working towards, you usually feel some level of achievement and success.
But what about the path that God wants to lead you on?
Plans that don’t amount to anything
But what happens when things don’t go exactly like you planned? When you don’t get the job you wanted, you don’t make as much money as you thought you would, or the dream family you were starting isn’t how you planned it? One week ago, you felt strong, full of energy, and working towards your goal; now you feel lost and empty, wondering how you can possibly get your life back to normal.
Or maybe you were the average kid in school, your grades just good enough to get you through your exams. School passes and you see your classmates achieving their goals, and you’re left at your boring job, year after year. Those around you judge you based on your education, job, money, and position in society; and you don’t compare well to those requirements. You feel you are empty and worth nothing; and in this miserable state, you even consider throwing away the greatest gift you’ve been given, life.
There is some amazing news for those suffering under the burdens of false expectation. In Luke 16:15 (ICB) Jesus says, “For the things that are important to people are worth nothing to God.” In other words, all that you’ve been taught by people to admire and reach out for is hated by God! He who has all power in heaven and on earth has no interest in how much money you make, what your job is, or how “successful” you are on this earth. This should lift a burden from you; your position and status don’t matter!
In 1 John 2:17 (MEV) we read, “The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” Think about this; everything that people reach out for and admire will vanish! Whether rich or poor, at the end, everything that we achieved as humans has to be left behind us. In that moment what will matter is not what we were able to achieve as humans, but what God was able to achieve in us.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 (MEV).
Whatever you do, you must do your best, without laziness – in God’s service! Then, whatever the outcome here on earth, you will have gained something of eternal worth. Your money, your belongings, those can’t be taken into eternity; but if your body has been used to do God’s will, you will be received up into heaven, where you will live forever.
Treasures in heaven
So, regardless of how you feel about what you have achieved in your life, pray to God that you can have your eyes lifted above this earth so that your place in heaven can be the only thing that grips your heart! Purpose and focus come into our life when we truly believe these words with all our heart and begin to do the Father’s will! The only thing we are busy with in our lives is obeying Jesus’ commandments and we start building up a storehouse of treasures in heaven instead of here on earth.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (MEV).
Whether my job is collecting garbage or operating on someone’s heart, I have the same possibility to be filled with hope and meaning if, in that job, my thoughts are on obeying God and preparing a place in heaven. Then each and every day will be full of hope and opportunity for me as I seek to invest everything I can in God’s everlasting kingdom. That is a truly successful life!