Tag Archive: encouragement


When Ministry Knocks You Down

If you’re a pastor, a missionary, or serve in a church, you can’t avoid discouragement, disappointment, or hurt from ministry. The bible even uses the not-so-complimentary metaphor “sheep” to describe those we serve. And sheep get dirty and smelly and often kick and bite.

Sometimes those sheep in the church do the same to their shepherds.

So when you get kicked, forgotten, disrespected, ignored, mistreated, gossiped about, or misunderstood, how do you move forward?

The story recorded in 1 Samuel 30 gives great insight. David had just begun his career to fight the bad guys. Early on he faced a huge defeat. While he and his army were in battle far from home, the bad guys, the Amalekites, attacked the city where his family and the families of his army lived. They burned the city and kidnapped their wives and children. When David’s men discovered this, they considered removing him from his position, not by a vote of a board or a congregation, but with big rocks to the head by stoning.

The Scriptures then record one of the most beautiful verses ever written. The King James Version captures it well:

David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  (1 Sam. 30:6)

It worked because his guys didn’t stone him but marshaled their energy and once again pursued the bad guys under his leadership.

As I’ve faced discouragement in ministry, these simple choices have helped me encourage myself in the Lord.

  • Acknowledge your pain and emotion to the Lord, but don’t wallow in it.
  • Journal your thoughts. Writing them down helps me stop the tendency to incessantly mull over the hurtful situation.
  • Read God’s word, especially those verses that speak of hope and victory.
  • Do something pro-active. Take action to move forward. In David’s case he took specific action to resolve the problem. He rallied his troops to chase down the Amalekites.
  • Stop condemning yourself and remind yourself that you are a child of God, loved by Him with great intrinsic value regardless of whether  your church is growing or whether people treat you with respect.
  • Pray for those who have hurt you. I’m amazed how God diffuses looming bitterness in my heart when I pray for the sheep that bite me.

If you get knocked down, sincerely seek the Lord and rise up in His strength to begin anew.

 

Contributed: The Ministry Advantage: A Weekly Mentoring Newsletter for Church Leaders.

 

 

 

Are You Tired?

Today marks another Labor Day holiday in the United States. In celebration of this holiday, there are many people who have toiled and labored at their jobs, in the churches, in their communities,  as well as for their families and friends.

Speaking of labor, moreover, sometimes you have become weary and overburdened with a lot of cares and troubles that accompany this life. However, whether you are in the United States or another part of the universe, the Master of the universe is able to give you rest.

Jesus encourages you, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28).

In light of this encouragement, you do not have to carry your burdens alone, if you are tired. Jesus is there for you, if you seek Him to help you lighten your load.

God's help

Are You Being Humiliated?

If the enemy is trying to humiliate you in any way, I would like you to understand that with humility comes honor. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy and cause shame and dishonor in your life. People will often times try to put you down, speak to you in a manner that is humiliating or disrespectful, but you have to maintain your composure. You do not have control over how others act or what they say, but you do have control over your own actions and attitudes.

Jesus had been mocked and humiliated before His crucifixion, but afterwards came His greatest honor. If you are being put-down and humiliated in any, you have to understand that your honor is just about to be bestowed upon you. All those who might have mocked you, spoke bad about you in any way, or disrespected you, will see your honor.

Before honor is humility (Proverbs 18:12).

Grace and peace to you.

 

It’s Only A Test!

Are you going through the roughest time in your life right now? If so, how are you coping? Are you about to give up? Are you thinking that God has forgotten your struggles? Are you thinking that you will never overcome these tribulations? Have you been spiritually attacked? Are you being deceived by the enemy? Have you lost something or someone precious? Are you dealing with a sickness that has no cure by the doctors? Are you waiting on God to connect you with your partner in marriage? Have you been trying to get pregnant, but has been unfruitful in your effort? Have you been financially depressed? Have you been attacked by the ones who you think should have your back?

God told me to tell you that it’s only a test! How can you be promoted from one grade to the next, without having to undergo any test? Take for example, in the natural world, where you have been in grade 6, and should move to grade 7. Would you just get to grade 7 without enduring a test? NO!

God is getting ready to promote you in your finances, your ministry, your career, your educational status, your singleness, your barrenness, your loveless life, your health, and all that’s on your wish list. But you have to pass your test. It’s only when you have completed this test, you will be rewarded. Bear in mind, that if you fail the test, you will have to retake it. You have got to press! If you do not press, you won’t see the glory of the Lord! The race is not to the swift, but to those who will endure to the end (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

The woman with the issue of blood pressed in to receive her healing. She had faith to continue to endure throughout all that she had been through. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God, and if you can’t please Him, He can’t reward you (Hebrews 11:6).

When God restores, He gives you the biggest, the best, and the greatest! So come on, it’s not time to throw in the towel. Wherever you are right now, it’s time to muster every ounce of strength in your body, so that you can make it to the finish line. It just take a little more of your effort, even though you think all your strength has been exhausted. His grace is sufficient, as His strength is made perfect in weakness ( 2 Corinthians 12:9).

When you think enough is just enough, you have one more test to overcome, in order for God to advance you to the next level. If you are getting overly exhausted, and you believe it’s just too difficult to get past this level, I would personally love to pray for you. Please email me at info@enoughtribulations.com, so I can personally minister and pray for you.

Grace and peace to you.

Minister Gertrude Ferguson

Seeking God’s Hidden Face

Have you ever felt like God has been hiding from you? Have you ever felt broken and alone?

I am sure many of us have felt this way at some points in our lives. You may have tried to come into God’s presence, and it seems He was nowhere to be found. You wondered when your tribulations would end.

Your feelings can be resonated with the Psalmist David when he wrote Psalms 13:1, “How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?”As David pondered, he directed the question: “How long wilt thou forget me O Lord?” He went on to answer the rhetorical question himself before even waiting on God to acknowledge the question. David answered, and said, “Forever?” However, notice that David answered the question with another question to God, still waiting on God’s answer. David had somehow been through some tough and trying times in his life. At the time when he needed God the most, God seemed to be hiding. Or was God really hiding?

In Psalms 51:17, David recognized that God had not given up on him, even after he had committed the ultimate sin of adultery and murder. We know the story in 2 Samuel 11 where David committed the ultimate sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife, and to have her for himself, he sent Uriah to battle and placed him at the forefront of the war, where the enemy could overthrow him.

Uriah died as a result of this. After he was killed, David took unto himself Uriah’s wife. God had been very displeased with him for this act, and threatened to raise up evil against David. After David realized the horrible sin he had committed, and how it displeased the Lord, he penned Psalms 51 asking God to have mercy upon him.

In verse 17, he stated, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” This verse in a sense answered David’s questions to God in Psalms 13, when he asked God how long will He forget him. David realized that God does not despise a broken-hearted person who is seeking His face.

Sometimes your heart is broken and you are so depressed and devastated, that you can’t even pray. There might be something that had happened in your life, something so horrible, that you feel that God did not care enough to prevent it, and you feel angry, broken and bitter.  Nonetheless, God has a way of working out the worst of situations in your life, and that’s why no matter what you go through, you should always have the faith to know that He means you good, and that He won’t harm you, according to Jeremiah 29:11, (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

If you believe in Him, and you understand His love for you, then you will know that no matter what may have happened in your life, your future will be secured. Therefore, no matter how broken and bitter you may feel, God is always there with open arms to receive you. Knowing this, you can rest assured that your broken heart have a way home, straight into the open arms of God.

When tribulations attack you, you should know that it will all turn out for the better. You might not see it now, but then, that’s where faith comes in. In Romans 8:28, (NIV) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” With this Scripture in mind, you can know that your tribulations will turn out for the better.

When you look back on Psalms 51, you can ask yourself: “What better sacrifice can God get from me than a broken spirit?” When your spirit is broken, God can reach you better. His words can connect with you on a more intimate level. When you are fine and everything is going great, you tend not to spend too much time reading the bible, praying, fasting, and seeking God’s hidden face.

There is a danger in starting a fire; you will never know how many bridges you will burn in the process. However, sometimes it isn’t a bad thing, as it may prevent you from going back to a place, where you should never have been at, to begin with.

Best Friends

Friends come and go, but real friends stay; chances are, if someone is in the past, that person deserves to stay there.  You cry over friends you will never have back, people you once loved and bridges that have been burnt.  Notwithstanding, there is a reason why these bridges have been burnt in the first place.  The past is in the past.  Therefore, you only have so much room in your life, so begin to save it for people who deserve it.

 Proverbs 17:17 ( NIV)
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity

 “Choose your friends carefully.”

Are You a Prayer Warrior?

Prayer_Warriors

With the busy cares of your everyday life, which demand your attention, you might be so bombarded that you do not get enough time to pray. However, the enemy sets out to destroy your purpose and causes mayhem in your life. Therefore, you have to be consistent in your prayer life, in order to take back what the enemy has stolen from you, or is preventing you from obtaining from God.

In order to be victorious in your day-to-day life, you will have to take full control over your prayer life. You can’t fight this battle alone, as you are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Hence, you have to put on the full amour of God, in order to overcome the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11-18)

Do not be deceived by the lies that the enemy tells you, as he is a deceiver. Your enemy, which is Satan only comes to steal, kill and to destroy your marriage, your health, your children’s lives, your family, your job, your business and your finance. However, do not be dismayed, as God sent His son, so you can have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

After being hit with various trials and tribulations in your life, you might just want to be weak and feel sorry for yourself, but now is not the time to roll over and play dead.  Moreover, you have the authority to win this war against the bad things that are happening in your life. The war is on! Begin to pray like a prayer warrior does. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution, is the distance between your knees and the floor. When you kneel before God, you can stand up to anything.

 

inspirational-quotes-about-life-5

You are of God and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

 

Trust God and Live

Trust God

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15)

 

 

 

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