We are built for off-roading; for Ministry!
As a Christian I know I am to be involved in some type of ministry. But knowing that doing the Lords work is never easy, I often wonder whether I am “cut out for the job”.
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24)
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit, Himself!
When we are born again, we are no longer mere human beings; the Holy Spirit Himself fills us. Isn’t that incredible? I mean, really! The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords fills me with His might, His power, His majesty, His abilities and His wisdom. All of a sudden I am supercharged! I am no longer just a “human”. Equipped with superpowers! And I can now do things through Christ, that otherwise I would not be able to do as a “mere human”. Time to join the Lord in His work, in His ministry!
The sort happens to each of us as we are born again. Being involved in a ministry is difficult but that is what we were built to do. This is why He fills us with His powers. So, if we are not utilizing the Holy Sprit and what He can do through us, are we not wasting it?
What Jesus Christ began, we ought to continue:
He fills us to equip us to do His work. So why am I not doing anything for Him? Because it’s “hard”? So, where’s the problem?
Ministry is supposed to be hard.
The bible teaches us that we will be persecuted for ministry. “You will be hated by all because of My Name.” (Matthew 10:22) “They will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated for My Name”. (Matthew 24:9)
I believe that we all have our own ministry; whether it is to our husbands, parents, to our children or to our friends. Maybe your ministry is to the struggling marriages or you are passionate about encouraging other women to be women after the Lords heart? Whatever we do to bless someone else, is ministry. So when we are suffering hardships due to our ministry, we are actually blessed!
Because it is never easy, it always teaches us something. I believe the Lord is so gracious in that because we not only get to bless others, we are also growing ourselves. This is how I can overlook the hardships of ministering and experience joy.
Experiencing joy in ministry.
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.Twice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (2nd Cor 11:23-28).
So, how can I experience joy in the hardship and difficulty of ministry?
Because it has a purpose.
Paul was joyful in his suffering in ministry first of all because it had purpose! Do you ever feel like you’ve done exactly what the Lord wanted you to do? Have you ever seen a seed that you’ve planted a long time ago, grow into something that only the Lord could have done through you? That is the greatest feeling in the world.
When my husband and I moved back home we didn’t think we would be staying a while. We had our own plans and were sure that we’d be moving down South or out in the country. But in a short time the Lord began showing us that we were to minister to our families. Ministering to your loved ones is not easy. But after seeing the seeds we planted begin to grow, the purpose of us staying here became very evident.
Paul say’s he is suffering for the body of Christ, the church. His purpose is to further the Kingdom of God by building churches. He focused on that purpose and it gave him joy. Knowing his purpose, he labored as hard as he could. Just knowing that my little ministry matters to the Lord and that He is able to do great things through me, I can rejoice.
Because it blesses others.
I believed that Apostle Paul rejoiced in the suffering of his ministry also because it blessed others. I think that him hearing about the faith and love of those to whom he preached, encouraged him and gave him joy and pleasure.
Have you ever experienced joy when you’ve blessed someone? It is one of the most humbling feelings in the world when you know the Lord used you to bless someone.
Because it blesses you!
Last, I myself am blessed when I bless someone else through my ministry. In Romans 1:12 we see that Paul is also encouraged when he ministers to the people in Rome. Isn’t it great that we ourselves are filled with Gods hope, are encouraged and our faith is strengthened through our ministry?
What am I suffering today for God’s ministry?
I know that I am not working as hard as apostle Paul did; I know I am not suffering merely enough for the ministry of Jesus. But I pray that He will use me first of all for His great purpose; to bless others and so that I myself, can be blessed!