A dear preacher friend of mine, Dr. Bobby Robinson, told me about a trying time in his early ministry. When he was in his mid- to late-twenties, his church split and he had a heart attack from all the stress. He started losing weight because he wouldn’t eat, and the situation got so bad, he could hardly think without being reminded of the pressures weighing upon him.
On top of these burdens, one of Dr. Robinson’s deacons told him, “Brother Robinson, I don’t want to hurt you, but can’t you see that God is telling you to get out of here and pack your bags and leave?”
Dr. Robinson went on to tell me that he went home that day more discouraged than ever. If it wasn’t for the reality of Christ’s presence which brought him comfort, he might have died from the heartache.
Let me tell you something, friends. If God is bringing your pastor through a difficult trial, you don’t have to be the “but” in his life. It’s not your place to tell God’s anointed leader why God is doing what He’s doing in his life and ministry. When David was running for his life from King Saul, he thought twice before lifting up his hand against him because he respected his position as God’s anointed. We must also respect the spiritual and secular authorities God has put over us, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Is your pastor going through some hardships right now? Has your boss just lost a close family member to cancer? Don’t be a doomsayer who claims to know the source of every problem. Help those who are struggling as best as you can, and just let God be God. Be an encourager. God’s way is perfect, and He is more than capable of making even the toughest situation work out for good.
We judge of things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences. If we could do so likewise, we should be perfectly of His mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us. — John Newton
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder