The short answer to both these questions is, No! Even the most intelligent man in the world is of no practical use to God. As Isaiah 55: 8-9 tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” For Luke 17:10 says, we are just unworthy servants totally dependent on the Lord for His benevolence and must trust that He is in control of any and all situations.
Standing firm in the middle of trials and tests can take herculean strength on our part. For just standing firm and not surrendering to the circumstances can take every bit of our patience and perseverance. That’s when standing firm I think takes on a active connotation…you may not be moving forward…but you’re sure as not falling back. Standing firm then means endurance, long-suffering, and self-control.
As Believers, we all want to do the right thing…to use practical wisdom and our moral compass to seek out God’s ultimate plan and purpose for our life. So how can we stay the course? I Corinthians 15:33 gives us the best advise – “Bad company corrupts good character.” For it’s very hard to remain humble and unpretentious in spirit when you only hang around with people that are arrogant, haughty, and vain. You may think you’re not being affected by their proud disposition…but more is rubbing off than you think.
No one walks casually into the Olympic Games and announces they’ve decided for the fun of it to compete in a race. Olympic athletes train for years…fully committed in all aspects of their lives with concentration and drive. And in the end for a few, their heroic struggle pays off with a gold medal. Our Christian life is one of training daily and fighting for victory over temptation. James 1:12 tells us, ” Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” We are in training for a crown of life, a crown of glory that will never fade away, and eternal victory.
Are you going through trouble and hardship today…then this is for you. Remember, there is no one like our God. He is a faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9-12) For this covenant of love we have with God is everlasting…unshakable, unbreakable, merciful, and kind. He knows exactly what you’re going through today and He cares.
Jesus was speaking of Himself in this verse…but it could also apply to many Believers. For example, maybe you grew up in a rough neighborhood, full of violence and drugs…and maybe you became involved in all of it. But later in life, you gave your heart to the Lord, cleaned up your act, and changed completely. Yet sadly when you go back home, those who knew you only see the person you were, and cannot accept the person you’ve become.
We are but mortal beings…flesh and blood…here on earth for a time, but then gone. Our life, as fleeting as the wild flowers we find in a meadow…beautiful one day, and wilted the next. Our bodies, as lowly and fragile as the dust and ashes we return to. Even the kind acts, the mercy and love we’ve shown others during our time on earth will eventually fade from memory. So make the most of the day God has given you.