Sometimes ministry is hard, even being in a ministry family is hard at times. People say things, programs don’t go as planned, discouragement sets in. People say that ministry is full of joy and sorrow. This verse tells us that the Christian life will most certainly contain sorrow. It’s just reality, ministry life or not.
It’s not comforting- “For your sake we face death all day long…” (NIV).
Remember these two promises:
First, Christ is the sheep. On Good Friday, He was led to the slaughter for our sake. He took on this role willingly, on our behalf. God set the sin of the world on His shoulders, with the weight of the cross. He faced death, so that when we face it, we see Him. We see and draw in His strength, His sacrifice, His mercy. His willing Spirit is in us- there is the comfort. We are not only forgiven and set free by His cross, we are capable of His work, by His strength in death. More over, we are granted the freedom of the resurrection, so death has no sting, grave no victory.
Second, because of Christ’s victory on the cross, there is victory every day in ministry. Victory in simply being faithful to His work, through His Spirit. Victory in caring for one another, fellow sheep journeying to well watered pastures, through a parched desert land. Fellow sheep, take heart. He is at work in you.