For the last twenty something years of my life I have served as a pastor of a local church. It has been on of the greatest joy of my life. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
However, along with these joys there has come some many challenges. I have seen people treat people in ways that I thought weren’t possible in church. I have been talked to in ways that totally shocked me. I have seen people at there very worst. Yet, these challenges pale in comparison to a couple that I believe all of us face from time to time.
The greatest challenges I have faced in ministry are – loneliness and discouragement.
My loneliness has come partly by my own doing and partly due to how people view pastors – unapproachable and untouchable. The greatest source of my discouragement has come from getting a vision from God, but facing resistance from the very folks that I thought would get behind it.
The antidote to these challenges is God’s abiding presence. The truth is that despite hoe lonely I might feel God is still with me. I am not doing ministry alone. No matter how discouraged I might feel I am not alone in even that. God is with me. God is with you.
This morning I was reading Deuteronomy 31:8 and I came up a verse that so moved me that I had to post it to my social media accounts and even write this post. This verse hits to the core of loneliness and discouragement. Here it is…
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Did you catch that? God is with you – in your loneliness and discouragement. The antidote to those feelings is that fact that God is with you. All you have to do is reach out to Him through faith.
I hope this helps you today. I know it has helped me.