Uplifting Help for Pastors on Ministry Monday: How to Stay Joyful
Are your heart and mind discouraged? Life takes a toll. Ministry and pastoral leadership can be draining. How do we find joy again?
Joy is an emotion that is rooted in our connection to God. We cannot find our source of joy in events or in good things happening instead of bad things. Our joy cannot be dependent on how successful our ministry appears or if we’re excellent at work life balance. Those are great things, but not things meant to be the center of our happiness. We have no control over those. Joy is not rooted in circumstances but in a relationship with God. Joy flows in our life when we remember God and His work. Joy is the confident expectation that God will act to deliver when trouble comes.
2 Areas to Assess When Lacking Joy:
Our relationship with Jesus Christ –
At times, we need to ponder Jesus’ love for us. This is true no matter our profession or spiritual maturity. Words fail in trying to describe it. In fact, my mind cannot fully conceive of the quality of His love. Paul prayed that we might understand the love of Christ in all its infinite height and breadth and depth. He told us it is a love that surpasses knowledge. His infinite love is more than our finite minds can fully comprehend. That love reached me in the depths of my self-centered rebellion against God. As I dwell on such love, I become profoundly aware of how deeply indebted I am to it. When I think of God’s love, devotion fires afresh in my soul and joy walls up within me in a deeper, richer, and fuller way. My joy is found first in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Relationships with other believers –
The joy of Jesus which we can experience is connected not only to our relationship with Christ, but also to the harmony of our relationships with fellow believers. Jesus insists that the intimacy between Himself and His followers is an intimacy shared within the framework of love for other Christians. That intimacy is a requirement for experiencing joy in our life. Loving one another isn’t easy. The unloving ones in the brotherhood can bring out the worst in us. But we must remember that Jesus loved His friends (His unlovely, whining, gossipy, arrogant, immature, and silly friends). He loved them enough to die for them.
Uplifting Help for Pastors: Takeaways for Finding Joy
When you feel that you have lost joy in life, check your vertical relationship with the Lord and check your horizontal relationships with other believers.
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