Some of us, though not all, know that we are called of God to a specific type of ministry. At some point we became unmistakably aware that He was asking us to follow Him into that work.
But over the years, have you ever come to doubt that call? The witness of scripture and the experience of many testify that following God’s call is not easy. Struggles, failures, frustrations, and financial pressures may drag on for years. Some friends and family don’t understand. Those closest to you are forced to share your hardship, and that increases the strain. You get weary of feeling out of step and swimming upstream. At some point you begin to fear that your call was nothing but a personal delusion. You suspect that it came from your own mind or heart, not from God.
How do you respond to such doubts? Here are some things that have helped me.
1. Realize that long-term struggle and suffering are common to all God’s servants. You are not alone! The Bible teaches that patient endurance is one of the most precious Christ-like virtues, and it can only be acquired one way: by having to patiently endure. When the difficulty absolutely MUST stop but doesn’t, patiently endure!
2. Realize that you will never graduate from God’s school of dependence. You might as well get comfortable there.
3. Remember! Intentionally call to mind your past experiences with God, His leading, His providing, and His faithfulness. The Psalms consistently remind us that when we can’t see or feel God’s deliverance, we need to remember it from the past and continue trusting it.
4. Recommit yourself to following God anywhere He leads you. Make yourself completely available to Him. Specifically, focus on following Him day by day, step by step. Our turning points, our “important” decisions, are actually part of the fabric of life. If you are following Him day by day, you’ll be following Him when the crisis points come.
5. God has given you that specific ministry as your unique opportunity to glorify Him. It’s your best chance to help people know and feel how wonderful He is. Thank Him for your task and treat it as a great privilege, as a personal gift from Him, for that’s exactly what it is!