Frustration is common in ministry. The pastors who avoid frustration best tend to be best at avoiding preaching the gospel. But if we follow the Lamb wherever he goes, and preach his blood, we will encounter slices of the conflict and opposition that eventually got the Lamb slain.
1. Don’t ask your wife to bear your frustration. There is a difference between sharing your frustrations with her, and expecting her bear your frustrations for you.
2. Don’t let it out on your kids by being impatient with them. When things feel out of control at church, it’s easy to compensate by exerting too much control at home.
3. Don’t drown your frustrations in distraction. It’s tempting to take your mind off it with movies, TV, work, or blogging (uh oh).
There are obviously more. Those are simply the ones I have been guilty of. Here’s three ways I am comforted in the midst of frustrations in ministry.
1. Pray. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).
2. Remember that I have not suffered to the point of shedding blood (Hebrews 12:4)
3. Count it joy to share in Christ’s sufferings, looking for how I can know him more through them (Philippians 3:10-11).
These don’t make the causes of frustration go away, nor do they always make the frustration itself go away. But at least we can have peace in the midst of our frustrations, and see them used for our good, and the good of our ministry.