Ministry is hard. Is that a revelation to anyone besides me?
As I was preparing a Bible Study for the More Than A Blog course a few weeks ago, I came across a verse that has been bouncing around in my heart ever since. Just before David’s death, he handed the reins to his son, Solomon, and the last advice this great king gave to a future great king was:
Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but that makes me shake in my flip flops a little bit! You might think a father would give his son some fluffy final words … “You are awesome, you’ll be a great king, you are ready for this, it will be easy!”
But no. David knew better than that. After battling Goliath, Saul and the consequences of his own sin, David knew that being a king was hard, and it would take every bit of strength and courage that his son could muster up. He also knew it would take one more thing.
Ministry is Hard, so Do the Work
Ministry is messy. Serving people takes guts and a thick skin.
Ministry can be lonely. Most of what we do is never seen.
Ministry most definitely takes work.
Sometimes we put an encouraging post or helpful subscriber freebie out there or hang up our shingle offering coaching or counsel, and then expect that God (or Google) is going to send the flood of people our way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually happen that way.
So do the work. Hone your craft and expand your knowledge and experience. Dig deep into what your audience needs (which may be different than what is easy for you to provide). Get over your own insecurities and false humility to share the amazing gifts God has planted in you.
You know I am all about having a plan, but at some point, we have to step away from our mind maps, checklists and vision boards and just do.the.work. The world needs your message and your gifts. So do the work of putting it out there.
Maybe you are saying (or whining), “But I AM doing the work! I’m up late after the kids go to bed, writing and making Pinterest-perfect graphics. I take courses, get advice, sacrifice time and money I could spend on my family, and NOTHING is happening!”
Then the next part of the verse is for you.
Ministry is hard, but Do not be afraid or discouraged
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.
This is not David patting his little boy on the head and soothing him with encouraging words when the thunder is rumbling outside. “Don’t be afraid, big guy. It’s gonna be okay.”
No. This is a king giving a command to a grown man. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. My God …
… the God that gave me victory over Goliath
… the God that protected me from Saul
… the God who did not give up on me when I failed
Yes, MY God will be with you.
The Lord gave Joshua these same commandments.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
God gives us the same commands today. When we give in to the fear and discouragement, we forget that the Lord our God is with us, just as He was with Joshua, with David and with Solomon. We forget that He started this thing and He will finish it.
Ministry is hard, so finish the work
He will not fail or forsake you until ALL the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
Is that a promise you need to grab hold of today? God, who gifted you, inspired you and gave you all the resources you need to complete your assignment, will not fail or forsake you until ALL of the work is FINISHED!
You know what that says to me? He is not giving up on us, even if we are tempted to give up on the work. If the work is not finished, God has promised that He will not fail or forsake us until it is. So we might as well do the work in service to Him.
And guess what …. I have a sneaky suspicion that as soon as this work is finished, He’s got another assignment waiting with my name on it. With your name on it.
So DO the work.
FINISH the work.
And don’t be discouraged. The Lord God, MY God, will be with you.
Share what “doing the work” looks like for you and your ministry. I’d love to hear about the great things God is doing with your gifts!
Linking up with Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Jaime Wiebel at #SittingAmongFriends, Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth and Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart
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31 thoughts on “Ministry is Hard, so Do the Work”
Great post today. I really felt you speaking to me. Thanks for this reminder.
DO THE WORK!!!
Thank you my friend! I know you are doing the work!
Christa, this post brought memories to mind of my father, your grandfather, working hard in his ministry as pastor of small Baptist churches all the while supporting his family working 6 days a week in the grocery store he and Mom owned. He never gave up and he finished his work. His God, my God, was with him in all things.
So very true, Mom. I’m thankful for the heritage of faith and doing the work from my family.
Oh, girl! I need this this week! For sure!! xo
I needed it too 🙂
Thanks so much. It really is hard sometimes – staying up late, writing and writing, perfecting that post so that it’s a smooth and seamless read, so that it reaches the heart quickly and easily. But even having one person say, “Thank you. I needed that,” is a sweet reward. Every time I get discouraged about having blogged for years and yet having a small following, I remind myself that my gifting and calling is about whatever He wants to use it for. I also have to remind myself that there is a season for everything, and right now, my season is raising my family. I have limited time to dedicate to perfecting my craft and pursuing publishing, or any of that. But that time will come. I can feel it. “He makes all things beautiful in His time…” So again, thank you. Such great encouragement for today. <3
I’m so glad it encouraged you, Melanie. Yes, your season will come, but this time is not wasted. God is using it to prepare you for the next season when you have more time. You are right … it will come and it will get here sooner than you think!
Great post sweet friend, but honestly they always are. I love the do and the work. Sometimes I get tired of doing, but He spurs me on and on to finish more and to keep on doing. Love you lady.
Debbie you are such an inspiration. You are doing such GOOD work! Thank you for your love, support and friendship.
Yes, I needed this today. Thank-you for the reminder.
You are welcome, Brookw. I’m glad you came by 🙂
Great post! Leaning on the everlasting Arms this morning ❤️
Always, Beth. Thanks for stopping by.
This is great! Paul says it well in Romans 12: Having then gifts . . . USE THEM!!
We all need that little push!
I love that, Michele!
Yes and Amen! My God is with me, so I will succeed, whatever that word means in my life.
That is a great perspective, Sarah. Success will look different for each of us. It is so easy to get discouraged when we start measuring our success against someone else’s. Thanks for adding that thought to the discussion.
It’s easy to talk ourselves out of doing the work.. I know I have faltered on many occasions choosing to give up (sometimes temporarily… sometimes for good). But how sweet to press on… you just never know what blessing awaits just around the corner and we shouldn’t be afraid or discouraged to step into it because we have God with us. Thanks for a much needed shove today… ♥ Those verses in Joshua have always been some of my favorites.
Glad you enjoyed it, Heather. I love thinking of those verses in Joshua as a command instead of just sweet encouragement.
Wow Christa… This is a better pep talk than my coaches gave me back in the day! Thank you for the inspiration bathed in God’s love. I appreciate this reminder/little nudge to stay focused on the calling that God has led me to and “do the work”. I love what Galatians 6:9 says. “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap.” We must press forward in spite of the loneliness, doubt, and fear. God will guide us in doing His will. Thank you for inspiring me today. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!
Horace, it is always such a treat when you stop by! It is hard waiting for that “due season”, is it not? Keep pressing forward!
Thank you for this great reminder!! Discouragement is from the evil one and should have no place in our hearts. God wants us to share his message with the world. A few months ago I stepped back from writing. I know God led me to start my blog but I let other things in front of it! I so needed this message to spur me on!! Bless your heart for sharing!! I need to get to work!
Wow, that’s good. Thanks for that. Now I just want to go out and do stuff.
Yay Sarah! Do MEANINGFUL stuff!
What a great reminder and a great word, Christa!
Found your post today on Grace & Truth.
Sharing on Twitter.
Hope you have a blessed weekend~
Thanks for stopping by, Melanie!
It is always good to be reminded that others in the ministry field understand, and “get it”. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there is any energy left to “do the work”. Thank you for this well written and timely post. I am writing the main scripture in my prayer journal under the “strength” column!
Oh, Laura, that is such an encouragement to me! Blessings as you DO the WORK!!
Christa, I always find encouragement when I come here. I appreciate that so much! That is a gem of a verse you have found, and I’m going to note it down and remember it. I think for me right now doing the work involves working on my mini-book freebie for subscribers throughout the summer. AND writing some queries for some online sites I want to submit to.