And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ministry

“Lord, I just can’t do it. It’s too hard. I don’t know how. Are You sure You even want me to do it?”

How many times have I said that to God? I said that to Him when I first started writing the Bible study Freedom from Emotional Eating.

I didn’t really want to write the study…it was too hard…I didn’t know how to do it…and how could I even be sure God wanted me to do it?

After all, if He wanted me to do it, wouldn’t He give me a desire to write? Surely, He wouldn’t want someone to write a book who didn’t enjoy writing?

What I was really looking for, was God to make it easy, and to guarantee that it would be worth writing. In other words, I didn’t want to go to all that trouble if no one was going to want to read it.

Was my attitude Biblical? Well, no, it wasn't, although it made perfect sense to me at the time.

Think of all the people in the Bible who had ministries. God didn’t always make it easy! In fact, He usually didn’t make it easy. Much of their ministry may have been delightful, but we know from what we read that it also included a heavy dose of plain, old suffering.

I’m afraid we don’t have a foot to stand on when we expect ministry to be fun and easy. We have no right to expect that things will go smoothly, and that we’ll always see results from our little bit of suffering. We do the work that is before us, but the results are up to Him.

In a way, that’s a freeing thought. We don’t have to have “success.” We don’t even have to know for sure that He called us to do something. Knowing for sure, implies that He’s going to bless our efforts, and He may not bless them—at least not in the way that we expect. We may feel like we’re laboring in vain, with no apparent rewards for our sacrifices.

But if we’re to give up all things for Him, should we not also be willing to give up the outcome of the things that we do for Him? Should we not be willing to suffer for Him even when we don’t understand why we're suffering?

What we need to remember is that God is in control, not us. Hard things help us grow when we turn to Him for help…and even the growth is worth it.

2 comments:

Lil said...

Just wanted to let you know that your ministry IS making a difference and I plan on ordering your workbook as soon as I can. I am so glad you are blogging!

Barb said...

Thanks, Lil - that means a lot to me.