What a foe this can be. It can drain zeal and the very life out of ministry.
Pastors may labor for years and see very little fruit (1 Corinthians 3:2). Yet, they are called to continued labor.
People under your care may continually disappoint. Where you thought progress had been made, there can be a sudden and awful turn to sin with no remorse, repentance or seeming conviction.
You can begin to doubt your own effectiveness, gifts and even calling.
Encouragement: Look for little glimmers of God’s work and grace. We often miss the small encouragements He sends our way because we are complaining about not seeing more.
Be thankful for every blessing. And continue to allow yourself to be surprised by peoples’ actions and sins. Don’t become cynical. Read good biographies of saints who labored long and hard for the good of the Kingdom.
Find a Barnabus (“Son of Encouragement”) or two (Acts 4:36), who will talk you off the ledge and feed your soul. Lastly, don’t forget that our work is spiritual and the world’s measuring stick is not our measuring stick.