When we think about God’s call on our life, we tend to think of it in terms of inspiration, joy, fulfillment, and purpose. And it is all those things. But we should not forget one other important thing:
God’s call and our ministry will require grim, iron determination.
This is a word both of warning and of encouragement. If you follow God’s call and immerse yourself in ministry (as all of us must – this is not just for pastors and missionaries!), you will experience suffering. Obstacles. Persecution. Disappointment. Conflict.
There will be times when your soul seems barren and your ministry pointless. When the world is loud and God is silent. When hope seems a phantom and the future appears bleak.
Consider Paul’s words in II Corinthians 4:7-12:
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.”
There is the encouragement. We have this treasure – the treasure of the gospel, of ministry, of calling – and no matter what Satan throws our way, we will not be crushed, have no cause for despair, will never be forsaken, cannot be destroyed.
It will take everything you have, given sometimes with grim, iron determination. But the result will be the life of Jesus – manifested in and through you to a dying world.