We are always on trial in this world. God's promotions are all in the line of fidelity. When we do well with one talent, he puts two into our hand. When we show ourselves faithful and capable with two, he adds two more. This is true: not only of ordinary business capacities and fidelities, but also of moral and spiritual powers and privileges. When we do anything well, God increases our responsibilities, puts new trusts into our charge. But failure in any testing brings the loss of the trusts already in our hands. If we would grow into great usefulness, we must be ever watchful that we fail in no duty or trial.
It is not great deeds that God expects or requires of us unless he has endowed us with large gifts and has given us great things to do. He gives us certain talents and puts us in certain relations, and then asks us to be faithful--nothing more. The man with the plain gifts and the small opportunities is not expected to do the great things that are required of the man with the brilliant talents and the large opportunities. "She hath done what she could" (Mark 14:8) is the highest approving word that could be spoken of any one, and it may be only for us smile of love and a crust given in Christ's name.
Luke 19:12-27 (also Matthew 25:14-30): He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds. For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (KJV)