… continued from yesterday… in honor of Crown's returning Internship students I am posting the manuscript from their commissioning on February 17, 2012… Listen to the talk on iTunes…
Hebrews 12:1-2 says that because we surrounded by all these witnesses … who had remarkably great and remarkably terrible outcomes… we should strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders us and entangles us. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this be keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Hebrews 12 goes on to say, “You know what, with that kind of perspective, no matter what you face, no matter what occurs, no matter what is happening, no matter trial or tribulation, no matter what affliction, no matter what temptation, no matter what fall, no matter what stumble you may have had, when you are giving your lives every day to Jesus Christ you may get up and stand, on your shaky legs, it says, but you can stand and you can face anything. Don’t miss that fact! Even as we run the race, circumstances might make our legs shaky.
The truth in ministry is that the outcomes might not always work out in the way you’d expect. There will be challenging times and there will be desert times just as there will be fruitful times. There will be times when we must ask, “What is happening? What is going on? How could this be so hard?” Ministry life was never promised to be all blissful. There is a reason why we have to have ministry: the world is hurting, people’s lives are broken, and you yourself realize that you need restoration in Jesus Christ and that you life isn’t perfect.
Do you know how hard it is to be in ministry and to give a talk when you are stressed out because maybe things at home are not working out well… or you have just found out some news that just deeply hurts you, or maybe you are worried and anxious and you are giving it over to God in prayer but then you have to serve other people’s worries and anxieties. Too often we try to pretend and act as if everything is working out (as we would expect). There are, thankfully, those times that are blissful and you are feeling close to God and it would seem that all things are good and you feel that “this is a taste of heaven” and where you feel so blessed that it knocks your socks off! I’d like to see that sometime… where your socks just go “PTREEEWWWW” off your toes because God is pouring out so much fruitful blessing because that’s how it does feel sometimes.
But there are other times where your toes curl up and cringe because this is really hard. So let’s pray for each other in the times ahead. Tremendous and hard are the times ahead. In the long run, God is going to work it all out… according to his plan… according to his ways… according to his will. The work God begins he will bring to completion.
We know the outcomes are left to God. So we can walk faithfully in confidence today, knowing that a harvest will come.
Lord, I pray for airplane stories and desert moments, where we will be lifted up with the face of an angel and we will trust in you for the outcomes. In Jesus Name, Amen.