Jump directly to the Content

Glad Tidings and Cups of Bitterness

Serving Christ means experiencing sorrow—even at Christmas.
Glad Tidings and Cups of Bitterness

I was recently in Colorado Springs, speaking to some ministry leaders. As a friend and I drove past the complex of Ted Haggard's former megachurch, New Life, our conversation turned to various large-scale failings we've witnessed recently at other ministries.

As a young pastor, I believe it's healthy to reflect on such failures.

The next day, when I returned home, I found myself deeply discouraged. Actually, depressed might be the better word. I was supposed to be preparing Christmas sermons about joy, peace, and glad tidings, but all I felt was grief, agony and despair.

Godly grief

There is grief in serving Christ. Sometimes we grieve for persecuted believers or struggling ministries. Other times, we grieve enemy victories, fallen warriors, or the choices of people willfully resisting God.

Every servant of the gospel will travel, eventually, through dark forests of grief, even despair. In those forests, I have learned that grief and faithfulness are not mutually exclusive. Didn't ...

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
A Black and White Response
A Black and White Response
What can a white pastor do in response to racial crisis?
From the Magazine
Why Christmas Is Bigger Than Easter
Why Christmas Is Bigger Than Easter
The Incarnation exists for the Atonement, but it is also so much more.
Editor's Pick
To Be a Pastor Is to Know Betrayal
To Be a Pastor Is to Know Betrayal
Apprenticing Jesus in a cruciform call.
close