“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mat. 25:21, 23, Luk. 19:17)
I think we’re so used to hearing that we can never do anything right that the thought of God praising His children seems strange—maybe even blasphemous. How sad! How disheartening that we’re told to love a grumpy God who doesn’t root for us, doesn’t like us much, isn’t interested in our problems or comfort, and has nothing good to say about us.
To the Gentile woman who appealed to the Jewish Son of David to heal her daughter, Jesus said, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Mat. 15:28) To the Roman centurion who called upon the Jewish Master of life, he said, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith!” (Mat. 8:10, Luk. 7:9)
“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’” (Exo. 33:17)
“The LORD said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes…your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’” (2Kng. 10:30)
Jesus praised the woman who poured perfume on his feet. (Luk. 7:46) The angel, Gabriel, told Mary that she had found favor with God. (Luk. 1:30) Paul proclaimed, “Now is the time of God’s favor.” (2Cor. 6:2) Jesus encouraged the crowds in his Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world.” (Mat. 5:14)
It’s tough to love a stingy God who doesn’t think much of us. But God isn’t grumpy, stingy, or selfish; He’s rich with praise and encouragement if we simply listen to Him! “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (Jhn. 5:44)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jhn. 16:33)