Insights from Those Who Invest in You!

The Pastor in the Pit

I can easily start this post with, “Let’s face it, we all find ourselves in times of difficulty and challenge.” In fact, I think I will. We ALL find ourselves in times of difficulty and challenge :-)

Professional ministry has its moments of both joy and pain. It seems, however, that when the pain arrives it takes up residence. But pain is controllable. I suppose it would be better to say that the impact and results of pain and the challenging moments are controllable. Here’s how you take control:

Keep Your Integrity tagged to You

learn expository preachingOne reality that all minister/pastors have to realize is that the world is watching you. We make claims of righteous living not only for our congregants but also ourselves. When difficulty comes (and people know it) people will want to see if we will practice what we preach. The struggle of our humanity and our spirituality becomes, seemingly, more prominent.

Stay strong on purpose. Let your integrity shine through. Never let them see you falter. Don’t hide your humanity or attempt to be Super Spiritual Man. Let people know where your strength comes from and what your integrity is based upon. It certainly isn’t you. The author and perfecter of faith is also the rock of your integrity.

Keep Your Joy Outwardly for Others

Here’s a fact … rolling around in and drawing attention to the challenges NEVER helps. Whining, complaining, and being depressed only makes things worse. Philippians 4:8 is great counsel:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

For mental, spiritual, and especially physical reasons you must intentionally replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Don’t ignore the issues of life, but keep them in perspective. Let others see a joyous minister. Let them see you living out the “James 1” principle of considering it JOY! If you do, everyone wins.

Keep Your Hope Alive for Him

learn expository preachingThe biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” The last thing the Lord needs is for His servants to lose hope during the trials. The Lord has seen you through so many struggles in life and you can confidently expect that He will see you through this one as well.

Avoid the coffee cup depression sessions. Instead get up each morning and make a list of your blessings and prayerfully focus on each of them. Be confident in the Lord. Reflect on His calling. Focus on His blessings. Remember the victories. Expect even more … confidently!

Keep Your Vision before You

Instead of looking at the present, keep looking ahead at the goal (vision) given to you by the Lord. Pastors and ministers love to talk about vision and you are no exception. Look outward, upward, and toward the horizon. The present will not define you UNLESS you let it. The vision of God is what gets you going each day. It is the task set before you. Temporary defeat and challenge is just that; temporary.

I have always loved Earl Nightingale’s definition of success – the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal. It simply means that it is the journey toward the accomplishment of a goal that makes one successful. Having something to work toward is what makes life and career tolerable.

Keep the vision before you. See it rather than the current circumstance.

Keep Your Faith within You

Hebrews 11:1 puts in clearly: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.” This definition of faith contains two aspects: intellectual assent and trust. Intellectual assent is believing something to be true. Trust is actually relying on the fact that the something is true. Read more here.

The truth of your faith and the trust you have in that faith should be ever-flowing. It is faith that saved you and it is faith that called you. It will be faith that keeps you. When discouraged or down, reflect back on the times when your faith was most obvious and prominent. Remember the day you were saved. Relive the excitement you felt when you responded, in faith, to the call of God on your life.

Ours is a life and profession of faith. Without it there is no fuel for the ministry

I trust these thoughts have been encouraging.

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