Dealing With Discouragement

I was checking my Bloglines tonight before bed and came across Perry Noble’s Sunday Night reflection.  First of all, I thank God for moving mightily as NewSpring.  I pull for every Christ-committed pastor who is fulfilling their calling from the Christ to preach the Word and tend the flock of God.

But what also what caught my eye is his comment on his spiritual struggles this week:

“When God works–so does the enemy…and he has been working overtime to seriously discourage me. I’m not asking for sympathy but rather your prayers…I will tell you what most pastors will not say…ministry is hard and carries with it a spiritual aspect that many cannot understand. I struggled this week with discouragement–which may come as a surprise to many.”

Discouragement is one of the adversary’s nastiest and oldest tricks.  Been there, done that, and will struggle with it too.  I get sick and tired of preachers who’ve pasted fake behind smiles to their face so that they don’t have to get real about the trench work pastors endure to be the men and women God called them to be.

When we’re honest about where we are and what we’re struggling with, we invite other godly folks into the fray, people who will intercede for us and lift our arms up as we obey God.

But whether you’re a pastor or not, discouragement can assassinate the dreams of even the most passionate believer.  I struggled with it too and was almost startled by the still small voice that spoke to me as my mind turned over every possible negative outcome that could manifest over my impending transition:

“Will you believe me or your circumstances?”

Um, let’s just say that my entire orientation toward discouragement was erased with a word.

Stand your ground, man or woman of God.  As my pastor said this morning during his sermon, Jesus is walking on the water of your problems headed straight for you!

Perry, I don’t know you personally but you preached at my church last year.  I’m praying for you and every other pastor out there.  God bless!

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