Paul Clark

 

“I have never met someone who is deeply compassionate at their core that has not experienced extreme pain in their life.” – Steve Donaldson

Right now you are possibly dealing with overwhelming challenges in local church ministry as well as in your very own family? Here is a powerful scripture that has encouraged Mechthild and me over the years as we too have gone through some very trying times in ministry and in our family:

“When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.  (Psalm 138:3 NIV)

First of all, due to God’s grace, we can freely call on him and pour out our very soul with all its anxieties and raw emotions.  God is not insulted nor is he confused when we shed tears or express in words or thoughts that we have come to the end of our rope!

Peter Scazzero writes in the The Emotionally Healthy Church: “If we ignore the intensive feelings that we have, even when they are negative, we then close an open door through which we can know God. Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality. Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God.“

God is not only able to handle our emotional ups and down, but in the end provides an answer to the dilemma in which we find ourselves! The faith that is not tested is not trusted.

Secondly, the scripture above shows us that out of our great need, courage and strength will follow, as we put our trust in God. Don’t be discouraged or distraught. God is your “courage maker” in every aspect of your life! Let God surprise you, as once again he emboldens you will new visions and splendid hopes for the future. It is not unusual that after a time of great personal weakness, a time of harvest follows.

Augustine of Hippo put it so beautifully: “In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.”

Please never forget that we ourselves did not seek the path we traveled through the many years of ministry. God is our inspiration and he guided us step by step to the place where we find ourselves today. Even as we are cognizant of our own leadership weaknesses and limitations, let us never lose sight of God’s divine calling on our lives. Let the words of the Apostle Paul ring loud and clear through our very being today, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6b NIV)

You are going to make it, and your “courage maker” will never let you down!