Generally, we believe that the world belongs to the talented person. We obviously assume that the fastest runner will win the race. The war is usually won by the strongest. The smartest earns the most money. The intelligent have riches, and the smart garner favor.
Nevertheless, the victory does not always belong to the strongest. In Ecclesiastes 9:11, we read: “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” Of course, Solomon’s assertion was correct.
Barak defeated Sisera even though all the circumstances were in Sisera’s favor. Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, which astounded the whole world. In the past, many wars were won even though, according to the strategy employed, they should have been lost. Victory does not always belong to the strongest.
It is not the skilled one who earns the most bread. The wise man Solomon said: “Nor bread to the wise.” During economic crises or times of unemployment, many smart people were without bread. Many of the rich lost everything they possessed.
Then Solomon continues: “Nor favor to men of skill.” Many a statesman possessed great talents and was wise in carrying out his tasks but was hated by thousands. The wise man closes his speech: “But time and chance happen to them all.”
In Psalm 37:23 we read: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.” In Proverbs 3:6 we read: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Do you believe in luck?
Do you believe that “luck” is possible? I do not believe in luck. Most people engineer their own luck. We usually provide our own opportunities, or we encounter them by way of our lifestyle. I do not believe in luck, but I believe in the leading of God and His Holy Spirit.
I believe that godly eyes, a godly heart, and a godly hand reign in our world – especially among believers. Christians may experience things that are not understandable with our mind.
God lets such things happen.
We all write in our book of life. However, our hand is led from eternity. I believe in godly wisdom which directs the fate of a pure heart, which orders its works, but also causes the evil ones to fail.
A few years ago my, wife was in the hospital hovering between life and death because a drunk driver had rammed her vehicle at high speed. This happened about 500 kilometers from where we live. Do you believe that it was “luck” or “chance” that Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Smith were visiting relatives on that day one kilometer away from the accident site of my wife? When Mr. and Mrs. Smith stood beside her bed, she looked up and said: “Did God send you here?” How would you have answered such a question?
When our first child was being born, we waited in vain for his first cry. We never heard him cry. Our broken hearts failed to understand why this had happened to us. However, later we realized that God used this incident to change our lives in a wonderful way. We continued in a different pathway after that.
A Life organized by God
I firmly believe that a totally “surrendered” life is a life “organized” by the Lord. He makes this possible through our love to Him so that pains, worries, and suffering become spiritual blessings.
Looking at this from another side, every joy, every blessing, every acknowledgement, and every privilege will be accepted with deep humility by a Christian, knowing that God has lent us our abilities and capabilities. All the praise that comes our way through the proper use of these abilities belongs to God and not to us.
We should not honor a person because of his capabilities. Respect him only if he uses his God-given gifts properly.
The victory is not always due to strength or talent. It is a frequently observed that the most talented person in our circle of known individuals is not necessarily the most successful in his career. The successful persons are generally the average ones who possess the ability to work hard, even without any praise, and who do their daily work diligently and intentionally.
Many inventors do not owe their fame to their unusual intelligence but due to their diligence with which they reached their goal. The smartest speakers are not in the largest churches. The most fruitful missionaries are not always the most talented.
The fact is that people with many talents often let themselves go and become egoistic and self-assured. They depend too much on their own abilities.
Do not feel that you are disadvantaged
The victory does not always belong to the strongest. It belongs to the person who can trust God.
Do not let yourself be held back by feelings of inferiority to do your best for God. Do not say: “I cannot testify openly for Christ. I am unable to say what is in my heart when all people are watching me.” To the young man whom God would like to call into His service, do not say: “I could not be a pastor because I could never speak like this person or that person.”
That could be true, but what does it matter? You can be true to yourself and give your best. You can love the people, be attentive to their needs, show understanding, and extend sympathy to them. After a few years, they will not want to trade you for a more powerful speaker.
The victory does not always belong to the strongest! No one would ever have called D. L. Moody a genius. He was a salesman in a shoe store. However, he gave God the first place in his heart and became a blessing to thousands. William Carey, a simple shoemaker, had an outstanding love for the lost. Look at this list of his accomplishments: a scholar of the Orient and a missionary; helped establish a missionary society; one of the first missionaries in India; built churches, schools, and printing facilities in Serampore; professor of Sanskrit at the college of Fort William near Calcutta; translated parts of the Bible into nearly 40 languages and dialects; wrote grammar books and dictionaries in numerous languages, including Marathi, Sanskrit, and Punjabi; and he wrote and distributed the newsletter “Ramayana” from 1806-1810.
Carey was no genius. He was a diligent shoemaker with a great love for the lost. He was willing to work hard throughout his life for his God.
Do not become discouraged if you are only an average person. The victory does not always belong to the strongest. Work diligently wherever you are with whatever you have available. Let no machinery get cold. Keep your heart warm, your eyes open, your hands available, and you can do more for God and humanity than some genius who squanders his capabilities.
So, whether you have one talent or ten, give everything you have to God! Let Him lead you, and He will make you a messenger of blessings in His kingdom.