Are You Thriving or Surviving in Ministry?

Are you surviving or thriving in your ministry?
Are you surviving or thriving in your ministry? (Lightstock )

From the time I began serving in full-time ministry, I didn't feel equipped to do what God had called me to do. For many years I felt I was barely surviving in ministry, I would always throw out there: "God, You know how I am, why did You call me?"

Through the years, however, I gained a revelation that if God called me, He has equipped me and, by faith, I've served Him faithfully for 20 years!

Through the challenges of ministry, I learned to be thankful and not complain. Yes, your mind will go there, and it's easy to complain or be negative when you are stressed or discouraged. However, God will never give us more than we can handle. If God has called you into full-time ministry or to serve in ministry at whatever capacity, He desires for you to thrive in serving Him!

God's Word tells us to enter His courts with thanksgiving and His gates with praise. To thrive in ministry, we need to always be thankful and keep an attitude of worship toward the Lord.

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Sometimes ministry can become your idol, and you begin to worship the ministry. Ministry becomes your whole world and you leave God out of the picture. That's when pride sets in, and you feel the pressure because you are carrying the burden without God.

For others, you try to be something God has not called you to become. When you serve in ministry, you are the bridge that gets people to Jesus! What a responsibility, and every day we can feel that pressure. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:29-30).

This goes to show us that we are guilty at times of carrying a burden He has not given us to carry. He will never call you to do something He has not equipped you or anointed you to do. 

If someone asks me what has kept me in the ministry, I know I could answer in many ways—faith, study of the Word and so on. The best answer I can give, however, is "the fear of the Lord."  I don't want to sound religious by any sorts, but I do fear the Lord, and one thing I know is that I can't quit.

But how do you persevere when it gets really tough? That's when we must trust God no matter what. Even when you don't understand, you have to trust God that He is working out any situation you face. 

"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

It doesn't mean "it works out good all the time," but it means "it works for MY (God's) good." Painful experiences can bring you to where you see another side of God, and that's a powerful place—a place where you can experience His presence like never before!

Many of us in the trenches of ministry started out with a vision and a dream to answer the call. However, there are times it doesn't turn out the way we thought, and the journey can be difficult.

Does that mean we've missed God along the way? Absolutely not. It only means we have had our faith tested. There are many plans in the heart of man, but the Lord's plan is what stands. We are not perfect; only God is!

This is a faith walk, and we have to solely rely on God to finish the work He has called us to. If you think you've experienced failure, here's an encouraging word: "As long as your love for God doesn't fail, you've not failed!"

"Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:1-2).

Along with her husband, Pastor Luis Reyes, Tricia Reyes is the co-founder of The New Church Of Joy in Waukegan, Illinois. She is a blogger, author and helps manage her daughter Madison's (Maddie Rey) Music Ministry. She is a devoted wife and mother to Madison and Matthew, and loves the Lord with all her heart! To learn more about Tricia's ministry or to book her for a Women's Event / Conference visit her website at triciareyes.com or thenewchurchofjoy.com.

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