ABSOLUTE FAITH IN YOURSELF PRODUCES SUCCESS
Work is unavoidable to succeed in life; we know this to be true because the scriptures say so. Also, and as can be seen in the numerous examples in previous articles, many people have accomplished great things by virtue of their hard work and diligence. Therefore, it is safe to say that work and success are interconnected and that without one, you can’t have/sustain the other. However, it is one thing to read it on the pages of a book or article and nod your head in agreement; it is another thing entirely to place your faith absolutely (as you work your socks off) in the fact that success is coming undoubtedly as a result of your work.
Delayed gratification is when you put aside instant pleasure for the greater (and later) good. In our everyday life, we grapple with 2 options; enjoy right now, or work hard now so you can enjoy in the future. As a student, whenever you choose to stay back in the library or do some laboratory work while your friends go clubbing and partying, you are delaying gratification; same with whenever you choose to join your study group instead of going aimlessly from state to state, visiting this friend and that relative. If you are delaying gratification, you are most probably doing so because you want to work as hard as you can to finish top of your class. You hope that by being the best in your class, you get rewarded with a great job, and all your hard work and sacrifice would have been worth it.
However, some people will say, “nothing works in Nigeria, so why should I study hard or work hard? After all, those that studied/worked hard in the past have nothing to show for it.” If you have a similar mindset, I have a message for you; If you haven’t gotten to the point where you know in your heart, and have unshakable faith, that your work will lead to your success, you may not be able to give your all and work the hardest you possibly can. Especially in countries such as ours where nothing seems to be working. In such a fallible system, it is easy to lose faith in what you know to be true.
Once you start having more faith in the systemic ability of the country to breed failure than you do in your ability to succeed as a result of your work, you are in trouble. How will you know when you have started losing faith? You start saying things like, “perhaps I shouldn’t bother working hard, the system is so corrupt, it may all end up being for nothing,” or “I know people who graduated with a first class who haven’t gotten jobs, so why should I delay gratification for a reward that may never come?”
At this point, you no longer have absolute faith in what you know to be true, and you have lost belief in the virtues and principles you were building your life and your future on. You have chosen to believe in what you see around you as opposed to what the Bible assures you is true. To you, delayed gratification is just a theory that never works in reality. Imagine how much harder work will seem when, in your mind, you believe it’s all for nothing; it means you may struggle to summon up the drive to work towards that goal of graduating top of your class. Therefore, it is very important that you try as hard as you can to maintain absolute faith in what you know to be true. As a matter of fact, if you graduate with an excellent grade and you haven’t found a good job yet, that isn’t enough reason for you to lose faith. You must have absolute faith in the word of God; in the fact that God does not lie and that he never fails.
When, after my secondary school education, I was awarded a scholarship to study in Russia, I was overwhelmed. Here I was in a foreign country whose language I couldn’t speak, in a school with thousands of students from nearly hundred countries around the world. I was in over my head, and when one of my professors told me I could never adapt, it was like salt on the injury. After thinking about what he said for some time, I decided to take him up on the challenge; I was not only going to adapt, I was going to speak fluent Russian. Not just that, I was going to graduate top of my class.
With this mindset, there was only one course of action for me; delayed gratification. I started spending hours in the library. Be it winter (you must have heard of how cold Russian winters are) or summer, regardless of how many lectures I had on a particular day, I would go to the library every day. While my mates played and had fun, I worked. I had no doubt in my mind that my effort was going to yield rewards in the future, and my absolute faith in the truth of the word of God helped strengthen my resolve. When I saw other people enjoying instant gratification, it didn’t foster doubts in my mind about the route I was taking. I was so sure that as long as I worked hard, I would be the best, and that my gratification will not evade me.
In the end, did things work out? You wonder. Did I eventually get rewarded for my hard work? Did the principle of delayed gratification work for me? Of course, it did! Not only could I speak fluent Russian, but I also did better than graduating at the top of my class, I graduated top of the university. The record I set on graduation still stood after twenty-five years. My reward didn’t stop there, using the principle of hard work and delayed gratification, I founded and built what would become one of the biggest churches in Europe, with branches all over the world. I had absolute faith in God, in his word and in the principle of hard work and delayed gratification, and as a result, I did not only succeed, I surpassed every expectation I (or anyone who knew me) ever had.
When you make the decision to delay gratification, it means that you have decided to do what’s right because, at the end of the day, you believe doing the right thing is more rewarding. It may not be so pleasurable there and then, but you know that it will be more profitable in the future. However, some people will look to make a mockery of your beliefs; they will tell you that your faith is lost and that the society is so corrupt that hard work doesn’t count for anything. These are the people who only believe in what they see; they live by the assumption that “if I can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist.” These are the same people that believe that since you can’t see God, then he doesn’t exist, and invariably, his words count for nothing. This is where your absolute and unflinching faith comes in.
Once you start to allow doubts creep into your mind, it won’t be long before you stop working altogether. From there, it is only a matter of time before you join your friends on the mountain, praying for the miracle that will bring you success.
Until you have absolute faith in the truth of God’s words, you will never be able to look beyond what miracles can do for you. God assures us that work is what will lead us to success, but how will you be able to harness the power in hard work and diligence when you don’t even believe the word of God to be true?
You start to hope for miracles, for divine intervention, you start to pray that God should transform the country. You can no longer apply the principles of hard work to the challenges you face, and your situation gradually takes control of your life. You become a slave to the reality you see around you, and in your mind, the only way out is through prayers and miracles. Do not let your life get to this point before you take the necessary action to get back on the right track, take a leaf from my book. Have absolute faith in God’s word, work hard, and in the end, you’ll definitely be gratified.
To be continued Tomorrow, don’t miss it.
Excerpts from the Book “WHAT MIRACLES WILL NOT DO FOR YOU”. #DSABOOKS
This book can be found on dsabooksplanet.com and Amazon.com
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.