The Master was full of praise. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’ (Matthew 25:21).
Irrespective of my effort to be well-mannered, elegant, and ladylike, I still eat ice cream right out of the carton—especially if it’s chocolate ice cream. I wrestle with worries, cares and fears. And I often get stressed out by the news.
So, as I was considering my walk with the Lord one day, I pondered what it means to be a successful Christian. The answer that the Word gives us is faithfulness.
Now, that is not the answer the world we live in would give. The world will tell us that fame or material possessions, or staying young forever, or getting to sit at the cool table are markers of success. However, Jesus doesn’t say, “Well done, my good and famous servant.” He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
This is faithfulness—continuing to do what Jesus says
Days after Jesus had been crucified, we see the disciples in turmoil, unsure of what the future held for them. Peter said, “I’m going fishing” (John 21:3), and they all followed him. Haven’t we all had those days where we throw up our hands and say, “I’m going for a walk,” or “I’m going shopping,” or “I’m going to the gym”—those days where we turn to what we know. But the disciples fished all night and caught nothing. Then Jesus appeared. And though they didn’t yet know it was Him, they obeyed Him when He told them to let out their nets one more time. Except, this time, they caught so many fish that they could hardly handle them all.
This is faithfulness—continuing to do what Jesus says. Even when we’ve been up all night. Even when we’re weary. Even when we’re confused. Even when we’re discouraged and want to quit or go back into our comfort zone. We are called to obedience; God gives the results.
When a person walks consistently with God, he or she can be called “faithful”. Eugene Peterson describes faithfulness in this way: “A long obedience in the same direction.”
Now, faithfulness will not seem cool to those around you. It will not be recognised. We’re not likely to get awards, applause, or even a thumbs up—or “likes”—for it. But faithfulness is quietly—often invisibly—life-altering and world-changing.
Often, we think that what matters most is growth. Of course, growing is necessary, but the reality is that we can’t control it. God alone is the One who grows us (see 1 Corinthians 3:6–7). We are instead invited to be faithful—to plant and to water. And out of that, God gives supernatural growth. We don’t make it happen.
God gives supernatural growth. We don’t make it happen
If you’re pressuring yourself—in the new year—to do more, be more, and achieve more, then pause and remember: just be faithful. If you find that you are comparing yourself to others and see that you’re falling short, turn your focus back to the Lord. Just be faithful to the journey He is taking you on. If you’re trying to make everyone happy, you need to let go of those unrealistic demands. Just be faithful instead.
We don’t need grand resolutions this year—or any year. A week into the new year, it will be enough to simply say, “Lord Jesus, by faith, I will obey and do what You say today.” Then do it again tomorrow. That’s faithfulness. And that’s a powerful resolution to make and keep for the year ahead.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise You for You are a faithful God. Father, we thank You that You invite us into faithfulness. You are a God of peace, not pressure; the God who gives us hope, not heaviness or relentless striving. Lord, this new year, we humbly ask for the courage and wisdom to simply do what we can, where we are, with what we have to love You and others today and tomorrow—and till you return or call us home. In the name of our Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.
A weekly brief of new resources and Scripture-based insights from our editorial team.