Being in bible college we’re told all the time about how many people start in ministry, and don’t end in it. They either encounter a moral failure or just get burnt out and quit when life is tough. Life isn’t only tough for pastors though, it can be tough for every single one of us. We’ve all been there—the days when the smallest misstep sets us off on a rampage of emotion or fowl language.
I’m not sure if anyone I know would describe life as “easy” or being a “cake walk,” and in light of this, here are some questions to yourself when everything seems to be against you.
1. Is this supposed to be easy?
I wish, but unfortunately the answer is a resounding, “No.” Read Luke 9:23, it says,
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
That definitely doesn’t sound easy. We are followers of Jesus, and He went all the way to the cross to die for us, yet somehow we think He’s called us to sit back and relax.Christianity will never be easy, but it will always be worth it.
2. Am I expected to have it all figured out?
I’ll be the first one to suggest a plan, or a system, or making a list when trying to solve a problem, but unfortunately the answer to this one is again, “No.”
I think we would all agree that there is no way to know what God is going to do in the next year. We have no idea what the condition of the world will be, much less what our lives will look like.
We simply have to learn to listen to the voice of God and follow Him one step at a time. Our plans and expectations will fall short (I promise), and when that happens, it’s probably God trying to get our attention, so we need to focus on Him instead of trying to get His stamp of approval on our plans.
3. Do I really have to please everyone?
Take a second and read Luke 4:14-30. Jesus has just given a sermon and the audience tried to throw him off a cliff! (Listen I know I’m no Jesus when it comes to speaking, but please don’t do that to me.) If Jesus can’t please everyone, either can we.
In fact, the only person we really need to please is Jesus.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Our call is to please God, not people! When we make it our goal to keep others happy, we will wind up disappointing the One we follow, and we will live a life of disappointment and frustration.
4. Should I be in this alone?
Sometimes our well crafted plans work out, and when that’s the case, we fall into a mindset that we are somehow responsible for God’s blessing, and we’ve got to work really hard to outdo ourselves. The result of this type of thinking is always unbelievable stress and burnout.
God called us so He would work through us. Allowing God to work in, prepare, reveal Himself to, and shape us is the best way we can do what He has called us to do.