“Why did I even become a pastor?” That’s the question I mumbled to myself last Thursday. I can’t recall asking myself that question since I became a pastor more than six years ago. Yes, there were many times that the unique challenges of my vocation confront me. I already know that pastoral ministry is hard work because it is heart work.
But what I felt the other day was different. God is exposing the unbelief in my heart on a deeper level. I got worried about my family. I am feeling my inadequacy to give them the provision and security that they need. I began thinking that, maybe, life for my family will be much easier if I didn’t quit my job as a civil engineer. Maybe, then, I can easily buy the things that we want.
Oh, there was just too much unbelief in my heart at that time. When God exposes the idols of my heart, it is painful. It is too heavy for my heart to bear.
This heaviness didn’t live for just a day or two. Just last Sunday, after preaching on the nature of Christian ministry, I began wondering, “Is it worth it?” With a restless heart, I also asked, “Are all the difficulties, sacrifices and tears really worth it?” Oh, why am I not even listening to my sermon?
When I look at the many people benefiting from my ministry, I find a little encouragement. But during this time, I sensed God telling me that looking elsewhere for encouragement is and won’t ever be enough.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). Only in the promises of an all-powerful Creator can my heart find rest. Only in the good news of Jesus can I find the strength to remain faithful and finish the calling he has entrusted to me. My soul needs to cling to his promises of future grace. Daily.
If your heart is restless today or if you are also wondering if serving the Lord is worth it or you feel like quitting now or doubting whether God really cares, then join me in basking on his great and precious promises.
1. The Lord does not rest in keeping me secure. I can find my rest in him, now and forever.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand. (Psalm 121:3-5)
2. The Lord cares for me. Even in times I don’t see or feel it. I don’t have to be anxious about the present or the future.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
3. The Lord assures me that all my labor for him will not be in vain. Even if I don’t see the results or the rewards of my labor now, I must look by faith toward the inexpressible joy and glory awaiting me when Jesus returns.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
4. The Lord will give me the strength and endurance I need now. I can continue even as I struggle and suffer knowing that I can rest on his shoulders, he will carry me on his arms, and his presence will guide me.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Why did I even choose to become a pastor? No, it was God who chose me and called me. And he promises to guide me and carry me through. So, when my heart doubts again and asks, “Is it worth it?”, I will tell my soul, “Oh yeah, it is!”
My help comes from You
You’re right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness
All on Your shoulders, Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up
On Your shoulders, Your shoulders