Ministry is (mostly) a thankless job.
When it comes to serving and ministry, I believe most people are genuine and passionate in what they are doing, but few of us are aware of the effort, risks, and repercussion involved in being passionate for God.
It can be discouraging when you have done everything you can, but nothing has turned out the way you expected. It can be painful when you can’t seem to overcome a persistent problem that hinders you from enjoying ministry or serving more effectively. It can be hurtful when people don’t understand the calling in your life, or perhaps they don’t treat you right because of your call.
If you are at a place right now where you are tempted to give up or give in to cynicism, remember how Jesus comforted Paul in one of the biggest trials of his life.
10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
It must have been a horrendous experience for Paul when he was nearly killed by members of the Sanhedrin. The Lord, however, transformed his breaking point to a turning point. Jesus appeared in a vision the next night to assure Paul to take courage because his journey was not at an end—just as He had opened the door for Paul to proclaim the gospel in Jerusalem, He would open the way for Paul to proclaim the gospel in Rome.
Take courage right now even if you are caught in the middle of a dire situation. Or you feel there’s no end to challenges and crises. Rest in the promises of God, and hold on to what He has revealed to you. If what God said to you about your life and ministry have not yet come to pass, don’t let the troubled days bring you down—you will get to “Rome” even if you are confined in “a barrack” right now.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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