That Didn’t Go the Way I Wanted

Joni Eareckson Tada:

They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. (Luke 4:29)

When I return from a ministry trip, I’m often asked, “How’d it go?” Praying friends want to hear about the lives that were changed, as well as how my flight went. A writer named Steven James once pondered how the Lord would have replied: “If Jesus had returned to Capernaum from an afternoon of preaching and had one of the disciples asked him ‘How’d it go?’ he probably would have paused and answered, ‘Let’s see, most of the people didn’t understand what I was talking about, and the ones who did called me demon-possessed and a drunk. Half of the people walked out in the middle of my sermon and then a bunch of folks picked up some rocks and tried to drive me out of town. Other than all of that, I’d say it went pretty well.'”

Working in the kingdom has its ups and downs. Things do not often go the way we want, or even pray. Perhaps you serve on a deacons’ board or a church outreach committee – if plans are going well, volunteers are signing up, and people are responding to Christ’s invitation, be thankful. But if everything is falling apart, if helpers are few and pagans are throwing tomatoes, be faithful. The Father blessed Jesus’ ministry, yet consider all the opposition he experienced, the doors he could barely crack open, and the people who signed up in the beginning, then found better things to do. If the Father is in it, the effort will be blessed.

If in your ministry someone asks today, “How’s it going?” and you’re tempted to give a long litany of all that’s gone askew and haywire, don’t. Remember Jesus. If you are faithful to that which He’s called you, it’s going pretty well!

Lord God, may I remain faithful to that which you’ve called me, no matter what the opposition!

About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion; Womanly Dominion; and Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He has also been elected as Coordinator of the Reformed Baptist Network. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 36 to 26 (born 1983 to 1994).
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