I thought that title might get your attention. Continue reading and you’ll understand.
In Luke 10, Jesus sent out 72 disciples to do ministry. He prepared them by painting a very realistic picture. He included the good, the bad, and the ugly side of ministry.
Some people would welcome them…some would not. Some people would listen to them…some would not. Some people would invite them in for dinner…some would not. In some places they would see miracles…in some places they would not.
And so the 72 went out to do ministry. And they came back pumped! Excited! They had seen miracles! They had experienced great victories! Even the evil spirits submitted to them when they spoke in the name of Jesus!
Jesus responded to them by saying this in verses 18-20.
“He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
What was Jesus saying? He was reminding them that their main source of joy should come from what God had done IN them not from what God had done THROUGH them.
You see…there will be times when you will see great things happen in ministry…and there will be times when you’ll wonder if anyone is even listening. There will be times when you’ll see kids healed and there will be times when you’ll stand beside a little coffin. There will be kids who grow up to serve Jesus and there will be kids who grow up and walk away from the faith. There will be times when you’ll get 10 new volunteers and there will be times when 10 volunteers quit. There will be times when you get a budget increase and there will be times when the budget gets cut.
If your joy comes from how things are going in ministry…then you’ll find yourself running short at times. But one thing remains the same throughout the ups and downs of ministry. You have a relationship with Jesus! Your name is written in Heaven! No matter how good or bad things get in ministry…you get to spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus!
- Let your main source of joy be what God is doing in you, not what God is doing through you.
- Let your main source of joy come from who you are in Christ, not from who you are in ministry.
- Let your main source of joy come from the time you spend with Jesus, not from the time you spend working for Jesus.
- Let your main source of joy come from what God thinks about you, not from what others think about you.
- Let your main source of joy come from your baptism, not from how many people get baptized in your ministry.
- Let your main source of joy come from your growth in Christ, not from the growth of your ministry.
When you get discouraged in ministry…just remember…You have a Father in Heaven who loves you not based on what you do, but on who you are. You are His Child! There’s nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or less. He loves you with an everlasting love. Now that’s something to be excited about!!!