Full-time ministry has been both thrilling and rewarding. For that, I am very grateful. But for much of the time, I am faced with challenges that I don’t even begin to know how to approach. With these challenges comes suffering.
I suffer because I watch the people I love make unwise and ungodly decisions.
I suffer because I receive constant criticism.
I suffer because I give up time with my family to serve others.
I suffer because I work hard and I hardly feel appreciated.
I suffer because I see others hurting and broken.
I do need the perspective that comes from Paul in Romans 8:18–
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Romans 8:18
Ultimately, I continue to look to eternity as my motivation:
…which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. ~2 Timothy 1:12
And through it all, I rejoice.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. ~1 Peter 4:12-16