Do you ever feel you are pouring out your life in ministry and no one cares? Like your drop of ministry isn’t making a very big ripple? Sure God knows your heart. He sees the hours of work, the spent emotions, the faithfulness in service with little visible results.
But you care about these people.
You watch them come to Christ in salvation and take their first baby steps as a Christian.
You listen to their heartaches. You pray with them, weep with them. You point them to Scripture.
You hear their concerns and make changes in your ministry to meet their needs.
You see them going in a dangerous direction and you want to shake some sense into them. Instead you pray and look for opportunities to encourage them to draw closer to God.
You’ve given your life to serve these people. You exhaust yourself in ministry for them. Don’t they care?
Dr. Raymond Buck, now with the Lord, served many years as a missionary to Africa. Many times this veteran missionary heard new missionaries voice their frustrations. He would say, “We didn’t come to be appreciated.”
In Second Corinthians the Apostle Paul opens his heart with great transparency. He had poured out his life for the Corinthian church but a small but vocal group were challenging his authority. They questioned his credentials as an apostle. They accused him of being insincere, spiritually weak, and an ineffective speaker.
As Paul ends his epistle he says, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. . . . But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.” (2 Cor. 12:15,19, NKJV)
Paul poured out his life in ministry in a way few others have. Though he was forced to defend his credentials so his message would be accepted, he didn’t do that to be appreciated. He cared only that his children would be built up in Christ.
Are you feeling unappreciated today? Are you faithful to the Lord and your work, yet seeing few visible results? Satan can use your discouragement to cripple your ministry while you sink into self-pity. So often God is working in hearts in a way you can’t see.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58, NKJV