I think we all like receiving a good compliment every now and then. Maybe some of us like it too much, but that’s a blog for another day. Still, when praise is due, it is not only a good thing to give it, but it’s also a good thing to receive it. Affirmation from man can never be our driving force or motivation in life, but sometimes it’s the fuel we need and the encouragement we need to keep going. When a brother or sister in Christ encourages another in faith, I can’t help but think that God is pleased. I know for certain that there have been times in my own life when a word of truth and encouragement from another believer gave me the spiritual boost I needed to pull myself up and keep pressing on. Still, human praise can be far too easy to come by, which is certainly something that we need to guard our hearts from, but a pattern I’ve seen in my own life is that human praise leaves me craving God’s pleasure. Let me explain. As much as I love to be encouraged by others (words of affirmation is my primary love language), I need to know even more that the Lord is pleased with my life. If He is not, then all this striving to please is done in vain. Don’t get me wrong, I love to encourage others, and I love to know that my efforts are successful, but at the end of the day if the Lord is not taking great pleasure in all my doing, I’m on the wrong path. My first goal and my highest aim must be to please the heart of God.
And it is against that backdrop that we take a look at the life of Job. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve read and studied Scripture is that God is not one to elaborate or stretch the truth. He doesn’t just blow smoke, if you know what I mean. He says what He means, and He means what He says. He’s not one to flatter for the sake of flattering. So, when God takes the time to write such a beautiful description of one man’s life and faith, it would benefit us greatly to take notice. The LORD describes Job in such a way that I can’t help but hear Him boasting on Job’s faithfulness. God took great delight in Job because Job took great delight in God. God took the time to take notice of Job and to boast on him. Would the LORD be found doing the same over me? Does my life give Him any reason to boast? Could I be described as blameless and upright, one who fears the Lord and shuns evil?
Until the day I die, I want to be found serving and loving, equipping and encouraging God’s people. I want to know that my efforts are not in vain. I will take great delight in knowing that my life was used even in the slightest way to draw others closer to the arms of Jesus. But I never want to want that praise more than I want the praise of my King. I want the Lord to boast in me, and not for my own sake, but for the sake of His glory. When the enemy seeks to tear down the faithful, I want my life of faithfulness to my King to prove Satan wrong, every time.