Pastor, has your Crown for Leadership become a Crown of Thorns? Were you voted-in by a 98% vote and highly regarded during the first seasons of your ministry, only to recently enter into a very dark time when some people are making things very difficult for you? Has your recognition as a Pastor been transformed into a recognition as an obstacle by some [cruel people] who want to see the ministry head in a different direction?
Jesus knows exactly what that is like. So do the Apostles. So do most others who have been in ministry longer than a few months! It doesn’t take very long for the enemy to stir up trouble for Pastors, but the pastoral ministry is the arena to which we are called:
“… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”
~ 1 Peter 2:20-23
If you are suffering because you are doing good, consider that Jesus Himself, the Perfect One, suffered in His ministry too. Our calling which comes from Him is not only to preach, teach, counsel, administrate, and to heal; it is also to demonstrate and model how to endure suffering by God’s provided grace.
The Crown for Leadership which becomes a Crown of Thorns should not be a surprise, it is not a strange thing. Jesus warns us in the gospels that if people hated Him, they would hate us too. So, it was “to this you were called.”
How did Jesus find the strength to endure and to keep depression at bay while people hated Him? “He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” He did this through praying alone often, very often!
And He did these things “that you should follow in His steps.”
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