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Discontent or Discouraged in Serving?


Ever have the ministry blues? We may find ourselves discontent or discouraged in serving if we’re missing some important internal components inherent to contentment and encouragement in ministry.

What’s Missing When We Find Ourselves Discontent or Discouraged in Serving?

1) Joy

Sometimes the stresses and anxieties of life seep into ministry. People may let us down. Circumstances may not be as we wish. Ministry, yes, even ministry, may not seem fair. Yet, when we rejoice “in the Lord” (Phil. 4:4), rather than trying to find joy in our circumstances, we can “rejoice always” and “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

2) Significance

Sometimes we don’t feel like what we do is very important compared to what others do. Or, perhaps we do think it matters but don’t get much appreciation from others. When we find our significance in and because of God’s grace (1 Cor. 15:10), however, we begin to realize that no matter the size or type of ministry, what we do does matter, even if others fail to take notice.

3) Perspective

Sometimes we do what we should do but obstacles and troubles still come. Even though we trusted God, things still went wrong so we get discouraged. To gain the perspective we need, we must gain a bigger and fuller view of God. Though He’s powerful enough to prevent or fix problems, He’s also sovereign and wise. He knows the beginning from the end. He truly does have the ability to work all things “for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28). The more we cease striving and acknowledge that He’s God (Ps. 46:10), though we don’t understand, we can find peace and contentment in the darkest days.

Overcoming Discontentment and Discouragement

You’ll find the antidote for each of the above components mentioned above. First, however, …

1) Identify why you are discontent or discouraged, remembering the following verses about the need for God to guide this process:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:23-24)

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Prov. 16:2-3)

2) Look to God to supply what you lack, remembering the following verses about God as the Source of all we need:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:11-13)

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Phil. 4:19-20)

3) Continue praying about it, remembering the following verses about how God will be there for you:

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Ps. 55:22)

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isa. 26:3-4)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

In Despair, Discontent or Discouraged


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