Can you determine whether or not God is pleased with you by evaluating the circumstances around you?
If so, then God is pleased and blesses you when circumstances are suitable, and pleasant, and to your liking. On the other hand, if you are in the midst of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day - or week, or season - then God is not pleased with you. Apparently you are not trusting Him as you should, not walking by faith as He wills, or are not filled with the Holy Spirit as He commands.
If the kids are doing well, then God must be satisfied. If business is rebounding, then God must be blessing you. If your world is in relative peace, then apparently God’s hand is on you. If everything is going your way, then God’s care is evident.
But if the converse is your experience, then God is not happy and He desires for you to do more - more trust, more faith, more prayer, more contemplation of Scripture, more spiritual discipline, more consistency, etc.
Bluntly: If life is as you want it to be, then God is pleased with you. If it is not, then God wants you to do differently.
Here’s the rub: We read in the Scriptures that people of profound faith trusted God and He delivered them from the lion’s den unscathed (Dan. 6:16, Heb. 11:33). We also know from history that other people of profound faith trusted God and the lions tore them to pieces and ate their parts. Both trusted God, both demonstrated faith. God delivered one and let the other die a torturous death.
Was He pleased with the one and displeased with the other?
For those of us who live in the west, we are privileged to dwell in the wealthiest, most advanced nation in the world. Are we more blessed than those who live elsewhere?
Don’t be deceived. Just because you know someone who lives in more affluence than you, you are still vastly more wealthy than the majority of the world, and far wealthier than most of the world’s Believers ... even in these down times. Does this mean you are more blessed and they are less blessed?
What about those who teach that you must simply pray and God will enlarge your business, your influence, your contact list, your car, your account, your health, or your house? Of course, many of these folks offer the disclaimer that these things are for God’s glory. But if the truth be told, they are really to affirm our faith and God’s blessing of us.
But what about those folks who pray and trust and do not receive tangible evidences of God’s blessing? Is He less pleased with them? What of the folks who are eaten by the lions of economics, recession, downturns, disease, and poor decisions?
Read carefully. If you believe such trite theology you leave yourself circumstantially vulnerable to the devil’s attack. Your Heavenly Father’s love, blessing, and pleasure cannot be measured, determined, or observed by your circumstances. Your significance, importance, acceptance, worth, and standing with Him cannot - must not - be appraised circumstantially.
If you miss this point, not only will you subject yourself to disappointment and disillusionment if circumstances don’t tumble your way, but you will compromise your role in Father’s story. Life is not about you. It is about Him. The life you are living is not your story but the part you play in His story.
What is your calling in life? Jesus said it was to love God with everything you possess (Mt. 22:36 ff). Paul said his determined purpose was to know Christ (Phil. 3:10). Our forefathers declared, Sola Christos, "Christ alone."
So the real question before us is, can you know Christ and love Him with everything you possess, resting confidently in your standing with Him, whether circumstances are to your liking or not?
Our Heavenly Father is determined to remind us with every passing breath that we are important to Him because of who we are, not because of what we possess or what we have done.
Do you believe Him?