I have been studying the ministry of Jesus. As I have been reading, I have seen over and over again the frustration and anger Jesus had towards his disciples for their lack of faith, lack of love and lack of understanding. He so much wanted them to see the Kingdom of God is about love, mercy and grace. He wanted them to focus on Him and His Father. However, some of them (the Bible never says who, it just generalises the disciples), continued to focus on the problems around them. I don’t think it was completely doubt. I think it was they had not taken the step of surrendering everything to God in every area of their lives. Their eyes were still focused on the world, not on Jesus and therefore they could not see or understand what Jesus was teaching.
How many times in our ministry have we been angry or frustrated at our congregation for just not getting it? How many times have we complained about our appointments because of the people? Are they not just like the disciples? We generalise everyone under the same umbrella. Not all of them were the root of the frustration. Peter, James and John were very close to Jesus and because of their faith and trust they were able to see Jesus in all of his glory at the transfiguration. They still made mistakes though but God used them for his kingdom.
I just want to encourage you all in your ministry. Know that Jesus does understand exactly what you are dealing with. Ministry is messy at times. It is heart wrenching, frustrating, sometimes making us angry and honestly there are times we want to shake the truth into people. However, let us follow Jesus’ example by continuing to lovingly teach the truth (even if it takes us many times to get the point across). May our eyes be ever be focused on God. If we are not being a disciple and spending time with Jesus we cannot expect to teach others. Our lives are witness to his gospel.
Know that Jesus is with you. He will guide you as you love the people under your care. Instead of complaining about the bad, give those people to Jesus, lay them at his feet. Ask him to help you love them as he does. Remember, after Jesus returned to heaven, his Holy Spirit filled the disciples and they started the church. Thousands came to know Jesus as Lord. Who knows how many will be won to the kingdom when we just trust Jesus and give the ministry to him. Ministry is not ours, it is Christ’s. It is Christ being lived out in us.
May God richly bless you in your ministry.