I have learned to be content in every circumstance. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; I have learned the secret … I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12–13
We should not measure success by the contingencies of the journey. When Paul was stoned or beaten or shipwrecked or starving, he did not view those experiences as evidence of failure in his mission to take the Gospel to the nations. When Paul was well received, praised, honored, fed and sheltered, he did not say that he was being successful. For the circumstances surrounding the delivery and reception of the truth of Christ couldn’t tell him anything about the overall effect the message was having in the community—that was the measure of success. So, he learned to be content in both positive and negative circumstances; as can we. Like the focused apostle, we can focus on the mission and on the Master. Whether it’s evangelism or some other purpose toward which we work, if we teach ourselves to see the work through the lens of the goal God has set before us, we’ll be able to shrug off the distractions we encounter. If we teach ourselves to rely on the presence and providence of Jesus, we’ll gain the inner strength necessary to pull our feet out of the muck and take the next step.
Lord, no matter the circumstances I encounter, grant me confidence in you and a clear dream, so I will have power in the present and success in the end.