Pastor’s Pen: When I want to give up

Being a pastor one would think that you obey God and serve others with complete joy and fulfillment all the time.  Perhaps for someone that may be true, though I doubt it; but for myself it is far from reality.

There are many times I wonder:  “Is this worth it?” “Maybe I should give up” or “How long, O Lord?”  God was not clueless about these reactions.  He knew that we, as people, grow tired and weary.  I think that’s why Galatians 6:9 tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Giving up is my natural tendency.  When things are hard and seem hopeless it’s easier to cut my losses and try something else.  There are times for doing that, but not when doing good.  God provides us some hope for those times when quitting on serving God and others seems the better option:  “…we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

There is a reward coming.  Perhaps you will see the harvest during your lifetime.  Perhaps it will come later.  Jesus, in Matthew 19:29, tells us that those who make sacrifices in life for the sake of Christ will “receive a hundred times as much!” That’s quite the payoff!

But we still lose hope.  You don’t see the results of your labor right away.  Others ridicule you for sacrificing so much.  Those you serve return snide remarks and hatred in exchange for your acts of love.  Change seems to come ever so slowly or not at all.  It looks like you are making very little impact on the world or anyone for that matter.  Don’t let that stop you from doing good.

The greatest example of this was Jesus Christ.  He gave up the glories of heaven to be born in a cave among animals.  He went from perfectly commanding legions of angels to having two imperfect people give Him instructions as He grew up.  He exchanged being always glorified and honored to being spat upon, betrayed, denied, ridiculed and cruelly put to death even though He had done nothing wrong.  He gave up everything.  What was the result?

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:9-11)

God sent Jesus to earth to go through all of that out of love for you.  If you receive Him as Lord and Savior then you will be saved.  Do you think after all He has done He would have something bad for you at the end?  I don’t think so.  If you know Christ then do good, knowing that your Father has much more good in store for you.