Ministry is not easy. It never has been nor will it ever be. Regardless of how you carry out God’s calling in ministry, at times, you will go through difficulty.
From the Voice of Experience
Since my college days, I have served as the pastor of a local church. From the simplest setting to the most complex setting, I have never found ministry easy. I am thankful for God’s call upon my life to the ministry of the Gospel, and I find enjoyment and fulfillment in it. And though I have found ministry seasons filled with unity and purpose, it is impossible to serve in ministry very long without experiencing some very tough times.
Therefore, I want to encourage you to remember four things when your next season of difficulty comes in ministry.
1. God is in control
I have faced some days when I forgot that God is in control. In those moments, I internalized the challenges and difficulties in ministry. This resulted in me withdrawing from others and experiencing a sense of loneliness. Upon occasion, my “ownership” of ministry set me back from God’s intention for me.
Through God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, I was brought back to the realization that God is in control. This liberated me from the burden of ministry and freed me up to be all God wanted me to be. When we remember that our God reigns in and over all situations, including the tough times in ministry, we are liberated to realize God’s full-intended purpose for our lives and ministries.
2. God will see you through
Ministry is full of seasons. The secret to longevity in ministry is learning to surf the waves of ministry seasons. They are like the tide; they come and go, they rise and go down. When we forget this, tough days can be overwhelming.
But through it all, God will see you through. He will see you through days when your critics threaten you. He will see you through when people you love let you down. He will even see you through days where the ministry experiences loss rather than growth. Pastor and minister, God will see you through.
3. God is carrying out his purpose
We have no problem seeing God’s purpose when he uses us powerfully. We have little problem receiving good things from the hands of God. However, when we walk through tough times in ministry, his purpose and power are not always seen or felt by us. At times we wonder if God has forgotten us.
But know our God is always carrying out his purpose. Through your life and ministry, He is always working. He is humbling but deepening us. He is pruning but growing us. He is breaking but preparing us. Yes, our God is always working out his plan for our lives and ministries.
4. God is preparing you for the future
We just do not get it at times. We think so much about the present that we fail to shift our eyes to the future. While now is always important, God sees the end from the beginning.
Through tough times in ministry, God prepares you for the future. He knows where he is preparing you to go and what he wants you to do when he gets you there. He knows where you need to be personally in order to maximize you for the things he has prepared you to do publicly. God is preparing you for the future.
When You Face Tough Times Again
When you face tough times again in ministry, please remember:
- God is in control
- God will see you through
- God is carrying out his purpose
- God is preparing you for the future
Therefore, all is well.