I don't know about you, but I often find myself wishing for quick results in regards to ministry. I want to see those youth group kids grow in their faith overnight. I want to see every single person in our congregation moved to sacrifice their luxuries in order to help solve world hunger. I want to see lost souls come to Christ and become impassioned for Jesus instantaneously. But if there's one thing I've learned out here in Beulah: it doesn't work that way.
The other night as I cuddled up on my couch with a bowl of pasta and a blanket, I popped in one of my favorite movies: Amazing Grace. If you haven't seen it, you should. The movie tells the story of William Wilberforce - a man who literally poured himself into the work of ending the slave trade in Great Britain back in the late 1700s to early 1800s. Countless times, his bills were defeated before parliament. It seemed like victory was impossible. Wilberforce even gave up hope for awhile . . . but not forever. He tried again, fighting with all that was in him to stop the abomination of the slavery. After nearly 18 years, he saw the fruit of his labors as Britain abolished the slave trade.
Although the movie is rather familiar to me, I was struck last night harder than ever with the reality of the battle we as believers face and the endurance we must possess. It sure would be fantastic to see instant results in our ministry, in those things that fill us with passion. But as demonstrated by Wilberforce's life, there rarely does ministry involve instant results.
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." - Galatians 6:9-10
". . . Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . ." - Hebrews 12:1-2
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness with the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day . . . " - 2 Timothy 4:7-8Don't give up. Whatever the Lord has given you a passion to do, whoever He has given you a passion for: do it. And be encouraged that although you may never know the result of your labor, the Lord's word never returns void.
"'For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeding in the matter for which I sent it.'" - Isaiah 55:10-11