Friday, February 01, 2013

When ministry is hard and you are tempted to quit:


When you have had to persevere through tough times in ministry...

When you've been vilified by once loyal friends...

When you've been talked about but not talked with...

When you've been de-supported financially...

When you've been judged uncharitably...

When your ministry has been jeopardized by abandonment and neglect...

When what you've been building for years is seemingly crumbling before your eyes in a matter of mere days...

When you have been on the front lines and the supply lines have almost been cut off...

When you feel under appreciated and over worked...

When you feel like a bruised reed and a dimly burning wick...

Remember...

1. ... to learn from your critics. You might not accept everything they say as true. But God has put them in your life for a reason. Surely, there is something to learn from just about everyone. Be humble. Ask questions. Learn from the troubles you are in. Be quick to hear.

2. ... that God is proud of you. Regardless of the ministry mess, you are a Beloved Child. He rejoices over you. In spite of your sin and failure, His grace is sufficient. He is still your all in all. He is not through with you.

3. ... that others are proud of you, too. (But of course it's God's opinion that matters!) God will provide enough relationships and support for you to carry on. The Timothys and Epaphrodituses are out there not only for Paul, but for you, too.

4. ... that your perseverance through trial and difficulty will make for an amazing story one day. One day you can freely tell the story of how God brought you through. You've passed the test. Now, on to the testimony!

5. ... that Paul's 2nd letter to the Corinthians is good fuel for your perseverance. Here Paul defends his apostleship and gets personal about the trials he went through. His story will inspire you to persevere, too.

It's hard, sometimes, I know. But thanks, pastors. Thanks, leaders. Thanks, ministers. Thanks, missionaries. Thanks, servants. Thanks for persevering.

It is a privilege to partner with you.

Question: What has helped you persevere?

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