"Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful."
1 Corinthians 4:2
We often hear the encouragement that God doesn't want us to be successful, he wants us to be faithful. In one sense that is certainly true. However, I think that we can look at it as either or when success and faithfulness in God's dictionary are really one in the same. As believers we don't have to choose success or faithfulness because with the Lord faithfulness is success!
The scripture reminds us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that God's perspective is so different from ours, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, " says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts."
The world's definition of success is wealth, position, power, influence. In the kingdom of God, success is found in faithfulness - faithfulness in being generous, compassionate, loving, hardworking, honest, loyal and the list goes on. If we get off on the world's definition we will always be lacking in genuine purpose therefore we will never feel we have succeeded. If we stay faithful to God's desires and His direction for our lives, we will embrace such a sense of fulfillment and purpose that even in the hard times we will know that we know that He is accomplishing His greater plan for us.
Some of the most honored and beloved believers who have gone before us and blazed mighty trails for the gospel were not successful in the eyes of the world. They were often lacking in material possessions and of little power or influence. Yet we still read about their lives today because they were faithful.
Faithfulness equals success in the kingdom of God.