I love it when Christians die, and even in death are rejoicing in the Lord! That´s when I use the expression: “Promoted to Glory!”
But God even promotes people during our lifetime. Not only when we die.
“So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job. And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold. Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days” (Job 42:9-17).
Nobody wants to go through what Job went through. But the end-result was tremendous!
We should remember the Biblical reality, expressed in Psalm 75:6-7:
“For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.”
There are prerequisites for spiritual promotion. A major requirement is humility:
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10)
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble” (Luke 1:52)
Another prerequisite is to give the Lord the No 1 spot in life, and not be derailed by the scoffers and the wicked:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3)
Choosing divine wisdom is another prerequisite, not the way of dishonor:
“The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor. ” (Proverbs 3:35)
For apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers there are special requirements, such as caring for the sheep, humility, and being down to earth. I love how The Message Bible puts it:
“I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he’ll see that you’ve done it right and commend you lavishly. And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for— God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people. So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you” (1Peter 5:1-7)
When God promotes us during our life on earth, it is not random, but with intentionality. God tests us, like He tested Job. And when He promotes, nobody can stop it!