“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
If we were to measure the life and ministry of Jesus by the criteria of comfort and success, we would have to say that His visit to this world was a miserable failure.
After three years of ministry, Jesus did not even have the approval of His own closest followers. But He had the only approval that really matters—the approval of God.
What did Jesus know about comfort? He was born in a manger. He had no place to lay His head. He was beaten, scourged, and crucified. And He was despised and rejected by men.
Yet Jesus was approved by the Father and entrusted with the gospel. From His obedience flows the grace and mercy by which millions are redeemed, and He says to us, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
That’s why Paul was able to say, “Our visit to you was not a failure” (1 Thes. 2:1 NIV), and we urge “you to live lives worthy of God who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (2:12).
Your success in life will not be measured by the comfort that you have enjoyed or by the approval that you have received, but by the degree to which you have done the work of God and received the approval of God: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Think about what you are aiming for in life. Are you striving after comfort and success? Or completing the work of God and receiving the approval of God?