“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:12-14).
What is your particular ministry? Have you made the time and effort to discover the particular way you may minister to others in the church and in the world (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16)? Some may be preachers, Bible class teachers, building maintainers, encouragers, gospel sharers, elders or deacons. There are a host of possible ministries in which we may be involved.
If you have discovered your ministry, how do you feel about it? If you have been involved in ministry for a long time it is possible that you are growing weary in carrying it out. The apostle Paul warns, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:10). For example, if you have been teaching a Bible class for years, it is possible that you become weary of getting ready every Sunday morning to prepare to teach it.
How do we prevent growing weary in our ministry? In the opening passage above, Paul gives us a key of how to cure this: We can keep a proper perspective on continuing to serve in our particular ministry by remembering to be thankful for our ministry. As a Christians, we are told, “In everything give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our practicing thankfulness helps keep a proper perspective.
Why should we be thankful for our ministry? First, remember from where you came. Paul writes, “although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man…” (1 Timothy 1:13). As Christians, each of us came from a background where we were lost in sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23). God has taken us from that lost position, saved us from our sins through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28), and elevated us to being allowed to serve in our particular ministry!
Furthermore, we should be thankful for our ministry because of what God has given to us. First, he has shown us His mercy by not punishing us for our sins. Paul adds, “…but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). Second, God has shown each of us and exceedingly abundant measure of His grace. Paul writes, “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14).
Recalling everything that God has done for us, helps us to be thankful for the privilege of being able to serve God in our particular ministry. Paul concludes by saying, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
I realize there is a temptation for me to grow weary in carrying out my particular ministry for the Lord. I can get tired of carrying it out and can become discouraged when I feel unappreciated. However, I can combat these negative feelings by practicing the attitude of gratitude. Today, I choose to remember to be thankful that God has enabled me to have my particular ministry because He has overlooked my past failures and shown to me His exceeding mercy and grace!
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4).