I know this post may not be popular, but I think it’s an important one. Many church leaders face difficult ministry scenarios, but they know God led them there. Here are some reasons He does that:
- God glorifies Himself when we trust Him in the tough situations. God led His people to the Red Sea – a most difficult predicament with the Egyptian army pursuing them. When He delivered His people, though, the Egyptians took note that the Hebrew God was more powerful than their gods (Exo. 14:24-25). That’s what happens when He works miracles in our toughest days.
- Most of us need to be weakened rather than strengthened as we do ministry. Our problem is not that we need strength to do God’s work; it’s that we’re like Gideon’s army: we’re so strong that we rob God of His glory if we succeed (Judges 7:1-7). God rightly reduces us through hard times.
- God teaches us that He’s the warrior when we face seemingly unwinnable situations. David the shepherd boy was willing to take on Goliath not because he was so strong, but because his God was stronger than the giant (1 Sam. 17:45-47). Sometimes we need reminders that God is the deliverer, not us.
- Tough situations force us to lock our eyes on God. That’s what King Jehoshaphat did when he faced three armies uniting against his forces. He didn’t know what to do, so he put his eyes on his Creator (2 Chron. 20:12). Whatever it takes to get us there is good for us.
- Our default position is self-dependence rather dependence on God. Most of us are dependent on God early in our leadership roles when we’re like David the shepherd, who knew only to trust God. Once we get some training and experience, though, we become like David the king, who relied on the number and power of his military forces (1 Chron. 21:1-5). Difficulties force us to become like the shepherd boy again.
- God keeps us humble in our tough times. Sometimes He allows a thorn in our life, and He chooses not to remove it (2 Cor. 12:7-10). That’s okay, though, because He makes His strength most evident in our weakness.
- Our witness is often strongest in the valley, not on the mountaintop. It’s one thing to trust God when the sailing is smooth, but it’s another thing to trust Him when the ship is filling with water (Mark 4:35-40). The world takes notes of the latter more than the former.
Tough situations under the sovereign hand of God actually make us better leaders because we then lead in His power, not ours. Trust Him if today is a difficult day.