Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1
The way we look at our ministry helps to determine how we will fulfill it. If we look on serving Christ as a burden instead of a privilege, we will be a drudge and do only what is required of us. Some people even look upon Christian service as a punishment from God. When Paul considered the fact that he was a minister of Jesus Christ, he was overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God.
His positive attitude toward the ministry kept him from being a quitter. He confessed to the Corinthians that his trials in Asia Minor had almost brought him to despair (see 1:8). In spite of his great gifts and vast experience, Paul was human and subject to human frailties. But how could he lose heart when he was involved in such a wonderful ministry? Had God entrusted this ministry to him so that he would fail? Of course not! With the divine calling came the divine enabling; he knew that God would see him through.
A discouraged Methodist preacher wrote to the great Scottish preacher Alexander Whyte to ask his counsel. Should he leave the ministry? "Never think of giving up preaching!" Whyte wrote to him. "The angels around the throne envy you your great work!" That was the kind of reply Paul would have written, the kind of reply all of us need to ponder whenever we feel that our work is in vain.
Applying God's Truth:
Under what circumstance are you most prone to "give up" spiritually?
How would it help you to dwell on God's mercy during times when it becomes difficult to keep going?
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = burden and 10 = privilege, where would you rate your feelings toward your personal ministry?
Devotions for Encouragement and Maturity. ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.