Serving Christ gets hard. Harder than we expected. Harder than we can endure, even for one more day. We are tempted to think, “No way can this turn out well. My life – the only one I have – is going to end up on the junk pile. I must be crazy to be out here doing this, taking these risks, getting hammered with this criticism, paying this price. The body count in ministry is high, and I’m the next casualty. How on earth did I ever get here?”
Inevitably, serving the Lord, obeying the Lord, putting him first, we experience this. It’s not because we’ve forsaken the Lord, but the opposite. It’s the path of obedience that leads us into deep trouble. And then our critics, and especially our betrayers, to justify themselves, tell us that it’s all our own fault. Sometimes we believe them.
Sure, we can learn and improve and avoid some land mines. But here is the foundational truth of your life, faithful Christian. You are retelling the story of Jesus in his death and resurrection. “If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12). He died, and now he lives. He endured, and now he reigns. He wasn’t crazy. And however this turns out short-term for you, whatever people may say or do, God will keep your life deeply enfolded in union with Christ crucified and risen again, and your ministry will bear eternal fruit.
Remind yourself of this every day: You’re not crazy. Whatever obedience costs you, you will rise again. Christ will see to that.