“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
By Heidi Goehmann
What are your sufferings?
We all have them. Even when life is going well, we look around us and face cancer, addictions, false gods, hurtful words, and broken relationships.
Life seems so heavy so much of the time.
The church work family bears these burdens and sufferings in a unique way. We have our own sufferings. Christ carries our load with and for us.
However, as part of the Body of Christ and leaders in that body, we also often bear the sufferings of those in our care.
There are burdens on our heart for someone’s marriage that needs healing, the member going through treatment, the family suffering after a miscarriage, or the widow living alone.
The sufferings we encounter are wide and varied in our work, our congregations, and institutions that we serve.
Heaped on top is the weight and burden of this knowledge. There are people who do not know Jesus, and there is so little time.
Who will tell them? How will we tell them? We suffer with the weight of the world on human shoulders that are frail and weak.
Paul gives us words of encouragement here, as if to say, “Imagine what Christ has in store!” God has a place prepared for us with no more tears, no more sorrow.
There is singing and praising all the day around a throne and King worthy of every praise. His glory is so bright and magnificent that the sun is not necessary for light.
Dear church worker, if you feel weighed down by the burdens of your people and the world this day, let me encourage you in this:
God also offers us glimpses of this glory revealed in His Kingdom work here on Earth. We are on the front lines of struggle, but we are also on the front lines to see the Trinity in action.
We see healing in sickness and hope in sorrow. We get to be messengers of His peace and joy as well as the bounty of forgiveness He offers us in Christ Jesus.
We see children grow and blossom in faith. We see sins confessed, and we offer absolution in His name. We share Jesus over coffee and pray with people, including strangers who suddenly become family.
At His table, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood for strength, and His Word encourages us that it does not go empty. He is at work.
The burden and weight of ministry is real. Paul knew it and experienced it in real time, eventually giving his life for the sake of Jesus’ glory.
May the Lord strengthen you today in that knowledge.
While the weight of burden is real, so also is the work of Christ’s redemption in our lives, the Spirit’s voice in our work, and the Father’s care and affection as we serve.
To Him be the glory in every moment of ministry.