I don’t think I’ve ever been in such warm weather in January! Last week, we drove from Mississipi to Alabama. Now we’re in Florida for a few days! Road life and ministry are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work. Some weeks are easier than others, but by the 3rd week of Winter Tour, I already felt like I had reached my breaking point. Having done CTI for almost a year and a half now, it finally hit me last week that I’ve travelled with CTI for a total of almost 16 months so far (since August 2015). Boy, I was totally exhausted. I asked myself, why do I not have the same joy in serving as I did before? What am I doing wrong?
These are questions I find myself asking once in a while, but I just couldn’t seem to shake them. I often pride myself in being a person who loves serving and doing ministry. I also pride myself in having a positive, joyful attitude as I serve. I’ve loved building relationships and engaging in deep conversations with people at venues. I’ve also loved playing music at all these places with my 6 teammates. But why was it so tiring?
I read a devotional titled “The Anchor of Joy” from the devotional Solid Joys. It referenced a chapter in Luke where the disciples rejoiced because in their ministry, they were able to heal people and cast out demons. Yet Jesus warned them in Luke 10:20,
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
My joy doesn’t come from seeing the results of our ministry efforts. More than that, my joy doesn’t come from my circumstances. I shouldn’t just praise God when I see the good things that He’s doing through me. Instead, like Jesus tells His followers, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
So the reason I can have joy today is because I’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus! My identity is secure in knowing God is my Father and I am His daughter. Because I know this, I can in turn serve others with all the joy that I have, because I know nothing will change God’s love for me. In fact, His love makes me want to share the joy with others and gives me the strength to do so. If I truly believe that He died for me, how can I not tell others about the joy I have in Christ?!
So for those of us who are in ministry feeling tired, worn out or discouraged: REJOICE!
Our joy is not rooted in how many people we see come to Christ or how many lives we’ve seen changed – but in knowing that our names are written in heaven! Our joy is anchored in our identity in Christ. We are saved and forgiven through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. This should give us joy, strength and perseverance to serve today!
By the way, we’re also enjoying our time in Florida. We’re here at Navarre Beach and it is just gorgeous!