Thursday, July 03, 2008

Discouragement and Grace

For the past couple of days, I've been working on a pastoral situation where it seems nothing has gone right. I've been heavy in spirit--discouraged really.

Then last night in Bible study, two members of the church approached me separately with small gifts. Both thanked me for what they see as faithful shepherding in their lives.

I can't count the number of times I've been downcast in soul and God kindly sent someone to me to point out evidence of His gracious work in and/or around me. When my soul falls He is ever there to pick it up. I'm thankful for the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:26).

I'm also thankful for the trials that push me out of myself, depletes my self-dependence, and makes me cry to the Lord. "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees" (Ps. 119:71).

7 comments:

j razz said...

Thabiti,

Check out Barry Maxwell's post on this very issue. I found it very insightful. (the one just above it is great as well)

Here is the link.

j razz

Stephen Ley said...

Keep struggling (Col. 1:28-29).

lifecypha said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. My family and I are searching for a church home and have become very discouraged.This post touched home with me. Thank you.

And I echo what Stephen Ley posted. God Bless.

DJP said...

God does work through means to lift our spirits:

2 Corinthians 7:5-7 -- "For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn--fighting without and fear within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more."

It has encouraged me again and again to know that Charles Spurgeon suffered some hellacious bouts of depression, and was transparent about it. Pastoring is rough, rough work. You may not get blisters and backache... and, in fact, that's part of what makes it so rough. At many jobs, men may get blisters and backache, but they see the house built, the field plowed, the pit dug. In pastoral work, that never happens.

2 Corinthians 4-5

Charles said...

Bless you brother.

In my file cabinet, I have a file named KOKO. (KOKO is short for Keep On Keeping On.) In this file I put cards, notes, letters, etc. which people have given me over the years on how the Lord has used me in their lives. During times of discouragement, I will look at my KOKO file.

Keep On Keeping On brother.

Hayden said...

Thabiti,

Thanks for the encouragement as I prepare for Sunday. I too have been blessed in this way by members of the church.

You are a gift to us in the blogosphere because in some places we do not have others to talk about the church with, so blogs help.

By the way, I am reading Gordon MacDonald's "Who Stole My Church" and do not agree with much of it. Have you ever read it or heard of it?

Claire and Eugene said...

you are still our favorite pastor (don't tell mark or michael that! = ))

we miss you guys and tito and the girls.