As a Missionary I know God emphasizes faithfulness (or consistency) over fruit, but that doesn’t mean lack of fruit isn’t depressing.
the Lord allowed me to go through two discouraging moments last week. The first was a service that almost nobody attended (we had sickness, people traveling out of town, and members out of the Country), the second was no children coming to Bible Club that afternoon.
On days like that it’s easy to become angry at the people who don’t come, or retreat into self pity…but both of those responses overlook an important point.
God is the one who brings the increase
to explain it very simply
- My job is to continue working diligently, and trust God to do the rest
- It’s Gods job to do a work in hearts
In a way I believe those moments of discouragement are tools that God uses to test our faith in Him. Will we try to “fix the problem” or believe the Lord is still in control of the situation?
AS SOMEONE WHO LEARNED THE HARD WAY YOU CANNOT PRODUCE MINISTRY FRUIT BY WORKING HARDER, LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU TO SIMPLY TRUST GOD WHEN PEOPLE DON’T COME.
BECAUSE THOSE WHO RELY ON HIM WILL BEAR “MUCH FRUIT.”
Yesterday a boy came to Bible Club very excited to show me his new Bible. Last year we started using a chart listing the books of the Bible, and I have a standing challenge for anybody who could name every book of the Old Testament without any help. When the time came for our challenge he was almost beside himself, “Mr. John I can do it!” He then proceeded to list them all by memory (okay I helped with Habakuk).
the thing about ministry (and life) is sometimes we cannot clearly see God working, but even in the most discouraging moments we know he is still producing fruit.