Seems like being a pastor or any Christian minister these days is more like being a bantam weight fighter in the ring with a heavy weight world champion. We often get our brains knocked out by those we are entrusted to minister to. Can I hear an amen from all you bloody and bruised ministers?
Sanity has disappeared from the face of the earth. The only folks standing are the ones with the biggest stick. Feels like that some times, doesn't it? Thank God that feeling goes away when we see one arise from the ash heap and surrender their life to Jesus Christ. That reminds us why we fight the good fight. If just one soul can find eternal life through being introduced to Jesus Christ, then our soul is refreshed and our stamina returns so we can fight again another day. Day by day new mercies He brings.
Folks, I see ministers facing the gates of Hell every day and experience defeat time after time. I see many give up and go back to secular jobs and drop out of ministry altogether. I have felt the weight and strain of trying to follow Christ in His calling on my life, also. I tell you, I am troubled, often, by the condition of the church today. Every week tragedy falls amongst some of our flock. They are tested to the max and often times fail to overcome and fall back into the world they professed to have escaped from. Sad, but many only had a mouth confession and not a heart belief experience that seals one till Christ Jesus returns for His Church.
Depression seems to be a major factor in the church today and that should not be the case. We have the power, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, to be overcomers yet, way too many professing Christians let the trials and tribulations of these end times steal their joy and their witness. It makes me want to scream, "stop the madness!" Wake up Church and educate yourself with the Word of God. It's all in there. Check out Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Jesus told us 2000 years ago what would be taking place in this, the final generation; the last generation before He returns.
Our fear and failure to cope comes from ignorance! Not knowing God's word..." My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. " Hosea 4:6 Come on folks, what do you expect?
Just a little desire to know God would have caused a true Christian to search the scriptures for guidance and help in these troubled times.
Check this out... Matthew 5:10 says, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." What is the worst that can befall a Christian? The kingdom of heaven; sounds pretty good to me...why the fear?
How about this one, Matthew 5:12, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Certainly we are not alone in this. The prophets before us and all those who sleep in Christ have been through the same things we are going through today. Yes, the trials seem greater to us because it's the Devils last hurrah and he has stepped up the intensity of his attacks knowing his time is short, but we, also, have the knowledge of this fact and should be able to stand on the Word of God without the doubt that causes so much anguish. Seems to me that the ones who are having so much trouble with the trials and temptations of these times are lacking something. Could that be real heartfelt belief that Jesus is for real and He will redeem us from the curse of sin and death, just as His Word says He will.
If one hasn't settled the issue of true belief in Christ Jesus as the only way to the Father and, that He died for our sins, redeeming us for eternity with Him, then they need to get into a Bible believing church and seek all the knowledge they can get about the true Gospel message.
Again, sad but there is a great beat down of those who have been called into ministry. Backbiters, grumblers, divisive, rude and demanding congregants have declared war on those who give the undefiled, inerrant word of God. Seems they delight in stirring up dissention in the church and take delight in the beating down of those called of God to minister to His people. Pastors are attacked by these professing Christians who, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: "The rest of this verse, 2 Timothy 3:5 says, "from such turn away."
Well, that is a hard thing for a loving Pastor or minister to do because we don't like to leave anyone behind but, one that must be done for the betterment of the Body. Paul often talked about those who were divisive and the need to separate from them as they destroy ministries. My co-pastor and I, in times past, have felt like chucking our calling and packing it in. Thank God His grace and love pulls us through and bolsters our wounded spirits. Running for the door is not an option to those who have a true calling from God. Besides, as I mentioned earlier in this article, it's all in there. The Bible holds all the encouragement we need to get by. All the strength for our weaknesses, and all the faith building examples of men and women who have fought the good fight and persevered till the end. Yes, thank God almighty, it's all in there.
How to survive the beat down...it's all in there:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses 1 Timothy 6:12
Yes, it's all in the Holy Bible. These mentioned and many, many more scriptures that will keep you from being totally beaten down.
Two things we need to keep in mind:
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:20
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:9.
Read the back of the book...we win. Soon and very soon, we will be going home. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
About the author:
Rev. Lucian L. Thompson Th.D
Co-Pastor Trinity Christian Fellowship
Virginia Beach, VA
TCF Theological Seminary
Read more articles by Lucian Thompson or search for articles on the same topic or others.
My dearest Lucian, you are such a blessing. We are both fighting for our Lord and Savior with all of our might. Even being in opposite corners we can love and respect one another. I LOVE YOU and TRISH BOTH. Bless your hearts!!!
((My old friend, Lucian!)) What a timely article right from the heart of God's true servant. You have my deepest respect for staying the course and keeping the FAITH.
Thank you for reminding us what a nearly impossible task real ministers of the Gospel face day in and day out.
I believe the evil one goes out of his way to "plant" trouble makers and dissenters in congregations. When disguised in Christian rhetoric and clothing, it's hard to know who's who until "the fox is in the chicken house" (so to speak).
Blessings to you and Trish as you keep coming back for yet another round. Even bruised and bloodied, you continue to obey our Lord . THANK YOU-THANK YOU-THANK YOU... and many hugs to you both! L~