Disappointments in ministry
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
I think about the list of names at the end of 2 Timothy 4 verses 9-22 and the stories attached to each one of them. These people all crossed path with the apostle Paul; some were his traveling companions in his endeavors to plant churches; some reminded Paul of the hardships and disappointments he endured for the sake of Christ.
Paul wrote this letter to Timothy while he was in prison and asked Timothy to go visit him as soon as possible. Paul informed Timothy that Demas, one of his ministry partners, had abandoned him. When it comes to ministry, you must be aware that some people will desert you; some will stop supporting you. (Just like Demas forsook Paul).
However, God always brings other people to you to strengthen, support you and supply for your needs; just like Luke was to Paul. Paul said that only Luke was with him (v.11). Luke stayed with Paul through thick and thin.
Paul wanted Timothy to go see him so that he could be encouraged by his presence. Furthermore, Paul wanted Timothy to bring Mark with him. This is the same Mark who had disappointed Paul during his first missionary journey. However, many years later, Paul asked for Mark because he would be useful to his ministry. Notice in their story the fact that no disappointment is beyond repair. No relationship is beyond mending and no failure is beyond fixing when we follow the same Lord.
You must know that disappointment will happen in every area of your life, but these disappointments as just chapters in your life story, but through Christ, they are never the final chapter in the story. Paul acknowledged God’s presence amid trials and disappointments. He recognized God was with him strengthening and protecting him. God is indeed by the side of those willing to do his will and accomplish his mission.
Yes, people will disappoint you; some will betray you and leave you, but God will raise other people to encourage and support you, as well as to remind you that he is still working on your behalf.
Even though it is hard and hurtful when people forsake you, there is One who will never leave you nor forsake you.
I am grateful to God for the people he has used in my own life and ministry to encourage me and to provide for my needs. (Thank God for the “Lukes” in my ministry)
Though there will be disappointments in ministry, serving God is very rewarding in this life and the one to come. Meanwhile, I must persevere running this race and I must keep the faith, then at the end of my journey I look forward to hearing Jesus’s words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”