A few years ago, when we were still living in Charleston, SC, a friend (and fellow pastor’s wife) and I went through a study of the Timothy’s and Titus in the Bible. It was a great study, that I still look back to, and love reading my old notes in the margin of my Bible.
It was during that study, that I focused on a verse I’d never really noticed before. It wasn’t long before I taped it inside the front cover of my Bible, and now is the verse that keeps me going in ministry.
When things seems confusing, it brings clarity.
When things get tough, it keeps me pushing on.
When things don’t feel good, I’m reminded why.
It has become, what I believe to be, God’s vision for my life.
The verse is 2 Timothy 4:5 (NLT):
“But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.
Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.
Work at bringing others to Christ.
Complete the ministry God has given you.”
Notice the action it’s commanding of us in those sentences.
I find it interesting how it starts with having a clear mind. We have a tendency to allow so much junk into our mind causing confusion and distraction.
Then it commands us to not be afraid. I think once we have clarity on what we need to do, who we need to talk to, where we need to go, the magnitude of the mission is overwhelming.
Then it commands us to work at bringing others to Christ. That’s the ultimate goal of all our programs, methods, & strategies. If it’s not, we should question why we’re doing it.
Finally it tells us to complete the ministry He has given us. When I first read that, I thought it was strange, because it sounds like it’s up to us, it’s our choice whether we complete it or not. While ultimately it is God who work in and through us, so much IS left up to us. If we do those first three things, I think completion is only natural.
When I come to the end of my life, I pray God will be able to say of me, “You did it! You finished”, and that I’ve completed his mission for my life. Can’t think of anything else that could be more satisfying.
Maybe you’re having a rough day, a rough week, or are in a rough season that’s lasted years.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Keep working, keep trusting.
He will bring you through. He will complete the ministry He has given you.