Early on in our ministry in Montana, my wife and I were easily discouraged. We were certain of God’s call. We were prayerful. We were relational in our approach and we were faithful to teach and share the Truth of Scripture. We were experiencing God’s presence and provision, but we were not seeing much spiritual fruit. Planting and growing a new church was labor intensive and as we sowed the seed of the Gospel, it often fell on hard and rocky soil. We were longing for a harvest that would last, but were often disappointed. Then, a fellow pastor shared a scripture with me that changed my perspective.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
The context of this passage is the principle of sowing and reaping and it has many applications, but for me it is the need to remain faithful and trust the Lord for His timing. I’m responsible for “doing good” and God will bring the increase. The NASB says it this way, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Over the years, this verse has been a source of encouragement. As we look back and see the lives that were transformed and all that God accomplished in establishing a new facility that continues to reach new people today, we know that trusting God is worth it!
In this season of Covid-19, many of you have “lost momentum” in your ministry. Do not grow weary in doing well. Many of your church family and new guests are slow to return. Do not lose heart. Your outreach this summer is limited, but keep sowing. In due time, you will see a harvest. The precautions you are taking to minimize the spread of this virus are cumbersome and tedious, but don’t give up. Many people are concerned about the virus and your precautions will help assure them you care for their well-being. Remember, you will reap what you sow.
Finally, this passage does not negate the need for a “sabbath rest.” In this season of ministry, many of you are working harder. You are tired. Take time to ABIDE in Christ. Find a pace and rhythm that allows you to sow “good” and depend upon the Lord without fretting. Trust me, I know the pressures you feel as a pastor. Don’t fret as you look at your circumstances, just continue to be faithful.