Ever feel afraid while serving in ministry? Scoffers gonna scoff. Here’s how to embolden your heart and find courage in ministry.
Serving the Lord can be lots of things that are wonderful.
Many times we are helping people when they are at their lowest point, we see that sharing the gospel can literally change lives, and we are growing closer to the Lord on our journey.
But some days just stink. And all because of fear. (Okay, let me be real here. I have gone years with fear shaking me in my shoes.)
Although there are lots of things we could be afraid of, I believe some of the scariest days are those when the only things we hear are the voices of the scoffers (and then the memories of the voices of the scoffers!).
Thankfully, with lots of prayers (aka struggling the hard way but finally learning to trust God) I found that there are ways to find courage in ministry-specifically when faced with scoffers. Today, I’d like to share them with you so you can have courage in ministry!
Courage in Ministry – Scripture Says to Expect the Scoffers
One of the first reasons we should be encouraged when we hear scoffing is that scripture says to expect it.
Look at 2 Peter 3:3 which reads, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” (NIV).
This verse has several unique phrases. For example, it starts with ‘above all’ and goes right to ‘you must understand’. It mentions the ‘last days’ and says ‘scoffers will come’.
So, here’s what that verse means to me.
First, with an introduction like that, the topic of scoffers should be a high priority for all of us serving in ministry.
Peter wants us to understand, or ‘to know’, that this will happen. So if we believe the Bible to be true, we shouldn’t be surprised when someone scoffs at what we believe and say as a Christ follower. Rather, we should expect scoffers — maybe even actually look for them. While we don’t know exactly when the last days will occur, Scripture tells us it will come.
I also think Peter is saying, ‘my friend in ministry, it’s not about you-you didn’t mess up!’ Scoffers are not mocking us because we failed.
It’s a sign that our belief in Christ is visible. That is a great thing!
Let’s stop looking at someone scoffing us as a failure of our the delivery of our service. Instead, have courage in ministry friends, because the Scripture we believe is true, and we are doing something right in our actions.
Be encouraged and find courage in ministry because Scripture – and our beliefs – are confirmed by the reactions of the scoffers in front of us.
Courage in Ministry: Scoffers Are Motivated to Action
The way scoffer is used teaches us that these people are not accepting of the Lord at all. They are actively rejecting His Lordship and teaching and living out their own desires and lusts.
And, we can’t expect them to behave as a Christian.
The word scoffer is an active verb. It means to mock or scorn – and in it can translate in Hebrew as an ambassador. These people are pulled to action.
In fact, because they believe they are ambassadors for the opposing side they feel led to ridicule. They emphatically do not believe in what we are sharing and feel compelled to speak (or shout) about the falsity of the message and truth we are sharing.
Our action of ministry is a catalyst for their scoffing. Their goal is to mock our truth, discredit our message (and us) and recruit others to join their side.
We’re told to expect them but we don’t have to stand there and take it or continue to try to convince them to listen to us.
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14) (NIV).
So, be encouraged and have courage in ministry, because Matthew 10:14 reminds us that it is right to move on to find other people who will accept the Lord’s truth.
Be Encouraged & Have Courage in Ministry: It Ain’t Personal
Finally, serving in ministry albeit wonderful can be stressful. It can be exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.
It is important to see what scoffers really are – part of God’s plan. And what it is not – a reflection to how we are performing in our ministry. It is definitely not a sign that we should stop.
We are all part of the church body. We all perform a key role. Letting scoffers get in our head can interfere with the wellness of our entire church.
So, it is important to be kind to ourselves.
We need to be sure to take care of ourselves when we are serving in ministry so we can see what is true.
In closing, yes scoffers are going to scoff. But, now instead of letting their actions bringing us to fear, we know it can bring us courage in ministry. God’s words tell us to understand it will happen, that it’s not a sign that we are failing, it is right to move on to share our ministry with others, and it’s part of God’s plan. These are lots of good reasons to have courage in ministry!
Do you feel like you need a little more help finding the courage and motivation to take better care of yourself?