Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Monday, June 26, 2017
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June 25 – July 1

 

 

Scripture Passage:  “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”   John 12:27

 

Then said he unto them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:  tarry here, and watch with me.”   Matthew 26:38

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

     I often struggle with what I will call heaviness of the heart.  There is a difference between this and depression or melancholy.  This is a heaviness brought on by the burden of ministry.  Some of the causes are dealing with sickness, terminal illnesses, death, broken marriages, unkindness and bitterness between family members and church members, a total disregard for the Word of God and the lethargic attitude towards the House of God.  This doesn’t even include my own family issues and demands.  Lately, I cannot even make it through one day without someone grumbling or complaining about something.  Some of those gripes are legitimate and need to be dealt with.  Other complaints are unfounded and completely unnecessary.  The hardest decisions are those in which you cannot keep someone from being hurt.  Regardless of what you do, there is no way out.  You work out every scenario in your head over and over again.  You think about it when you mow the lawn.  You think about it when you drive down the road.  You think about it when you go to bed, and it is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.  You know it is a sin to worry.  You remember the Scripture that says take your burden to the Lord and he will sustain you.   (Isaiah 55:22)  You grip tightly I Peter 5:7 that says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”    Time is running out and there has been no word from the Lord.  There has been no miraculous deliverance.  Your hesitancy is seen as being indecisive and a sign of poor leadership.  Your heart is still reeling from cruel words spoken against you even when you know you did the right thing concerning other issues. The comment is made, “That is why we pay you the big bucks to take care of these situations.”  My heaviness of heart quickly turns to my own private pity party and an inordinate desire to run away from it all. 

 

    Many of my heroes of faith dealt with these times differently.  Some took it as a sign that they had accomplished all they could in a certain place and it was time to move on.  (I have had some tell me if they had to do it all over again, they would have stayed put.)  Others decided to stay on and tackle the issues.  Some of these men were destroyed physically, emotionally, and spiritually by the stress they endured.  Others rose above it all and lived to have long, productive ministries in one place.  One man laughingly told me he out lived all of his opposition.  My greatest fear is making a mistake that will ruin a life, permanently scar a church’s reputation, or shame my Savior’s name and character.  So all this adds to my heaviness of heart. 

 

     My greatest hero is the MAN himself.  Jesus Christ is the greatest Superhero of all times.  He is not a fictitious character from a comic book, but the Creator of the Universe with unlimited power.  He does not run from trouble, but faces it head on relying upon the strength and wisdom His Father provides.  He never forgets His purpose or ever questions His own judgment.  He does the right thing, for the right reason, the right way every single time.  The problem is that I am not Him.  The only hope I have is that if I walk close enough to Him, some of His character will rub off on me, or that He will show up and make a way where there is no way.  Until then, I will just keep doing what I know to do – the best that I can.

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Johnny