Pastoral ministry is unique in its challenges. No other occupation on the planet is like it. There are challenges to our faith, our families, our relationships, our finances, our leadership, and our identity.
This occupation, this calling, this vocation, is like no other in that it challenges our confidence and courage for the future. We must decide where we will turn when fear, frustration, exhaustion, and emptiness, seeps into our lives.
Let’s talk about the three things that can give us confidence and courage for the future:
- Our confidence and courage must be in Christ.
- “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling”. (Jude 24)
This is a phrase that speaks to the omnipotence of God. He is all-powerful. Nothing is too hard for HIM.
- Genesis 18:14 – “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
- Deuteronomy 7:21 – “You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.”
- Matthew 19:26 – “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The power of Christ will sustain any believer and keep us from falling into temptation, worry, anxiety, sinful rebellion, self-pity, self-doubt, depression, or anything else that might plague us.
I have confidence that God is able to keep us, guide us, protect us, provide for us, and prosper us. We are in good hands.
- Our confidence and courage must be rooted in our relationship to Christ.
- “to present you blameless with great joy.” (Jude 24)
My confidence is not in my abilities, my confidence is in Christ. One day HE will present me before the Father. He will stand by me and declare that I am one of His own. He has already declared that I have been bought with the precious blood of Christ. He has already declared that I have been given the righteousness of Christ. He has already declared that I am blameless, completely forgiven for all sin for all time. He has already declared that I am loved, accepted, and forgiven forever. He will make this declaration with JOY.
I have confidence that we belong to Jesus. We are His precious possession. HE rejoices over us. We are in good hands.
- Our confidence and courage must be focused on His glory.
- “to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory.” (Jude 25)
God is by nature a saving God. It is His nature to save us, deliver us, rescue us, redeem us, free us, revive us, renew us, refresh us, and resurrect us. He is the ONE who has done everything. He planned our salvation, worked in our lives to reveal Jesus, gave us the desire to repent, gave us the faith to believe, made us alive, and, and called us to serve Him. He has done it all and He deserves all the glory.
Consider how these verses describe the worthiness of our God. He is worthy to be worshipped. He is worthy of all glory. He is worthy of our courage and confidence.
- “Majesty” – the reign of the Father and the Son
- “Dominion” – the absolute rule of Jesus over everything
- “Authority” – the supreme right of Jesus to do whatever He will, whenever He will, wherever He will, with whomever He will.
- “Before all time” – eternity past
- “Now” – the present age
- “Forever” – eternity future
He alone deserves ALL the glory for ALL eternity.