God’s Actions in Leaders
Realistic leaders expect hard times in the journey to fulfill what has been entrusted to them to accomplish. Jesus said, “In this world you WILL have trouble…” Ministry is not “pie in the sky” stuff. Ministry is hard. Life is hard. ALL who believe are ministers of the good news. So, all of us will face hard times. Do we give up when those around us discourage us by their actions? Do we give up when unbelievers attempt to discredit us? Do we give in to the falsehoods spread by churchies about our unworthiness?
Do we give in to those who are criticizing on the sidelines saying “You can’t do that”…while we are doing it? NO! We know we should not give in or give up with what God gives us daily to be and do. But in those harder times, we need reassurance. We need to focus on HOW to keep going. Paul’s example gives us just that, the HOW to never give up.
Read and see what you think and what you could add that will give you a lift in your own journey that gives God glory while giving you hope and encouragement! Then SHARE it, please!
Acts 14, The Message
Plenty of Hard Times
21-22 After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn’t be easy: “Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times.”
23-26 Paul and Barnabas handpicked leaders in each church. After praying—their prayers intensified by fasting—they presented these new leaders to the Master to whom they had entrusted their lives. Working their way back through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia and preached in Perga. Finally, they made it to Attalia and caught a ship back to Antioch, where it had all started—launched by God’s grace and now safely home by God’s grace. A good piece of work.
27-28 On arrival, they got the church together and reported on their trip, telling in detail how God had used them to throw the door of faith wide open so people of all nations could come streaming in. Then they settled down for a long, leisurely visit with the disciples.
HOW TO STAY FOCUSED AND NOT GIVE IN OR GIVE UP:
(What we see from Paul’s journey…)
1. Continuous pouring out of your life into someone else’s life so that leadership grows exponentially. (God refills what is poured out for Him!)
2. Constant follow up with those you train with encouragement to stick with what they have learned and what they believe.
3. Be realistic. Tell the Truth…times will be hard. You will go through hard times, but this is what you do…
4. Intense, relentless praying that involves fasting from time to time because sometimes praying and listening to God is more important than physical food. (Especially in the hard times!)
5. Leaders, handpicked by their lives lived with integrity, are presented to the Master “to whom they had entrusted their lives.”
6. Be led by God’s grace, leaning always heavily into God’s grace. God’s grace is our safe haven of rest and recuperation.
7. Share your journey with other believers, telling what GOD did…in detail. NOT what we did, but what GOD did.
8. Fellowship with other disciples who will give hope, encouragement by their love for God and for you.
Wow, that is a lot in this short passage! What do you see? I really want to know!
Dear Heavenly Father, You are God and you see us through every detail of every hard situation or circumstance that is beyond our control. Wait! EVERY thing is our lives is beyond us and is in Your control! We trust You to teach us, lead us, guide us for we love you with all this is within us. Continue to give us hope, blessed assurance and others to share our journeys with in fellowship. Thank you, Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen