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The Unbounded Affliction

The company of the discouraged is not an exclusive club, but it is a costly fellowship.
Bruce W. Thielemann

Discouragement in ministry knows no bounds. It spreads across denominations, regions, and ages. It strikes seminarians and seasoned pastors alike.

And it can devastate pastors and their ministries. "Regardless of what we believe about the strength of God or perseverance of the saints," admits a Presbyterian pastor who's struggling with discouraging times himself, "discouragement breaks some people. They leave the ministry. And it's not sufficient to say they were never called. They were simply too discouraged to keep going."

That applies, sadly, to even the most experienced, hard-working, and energetic pastors, as Roger Landis, a pastor in the Midwest, discovered. Though names and identifying details have been changed to protect the people involved, the following account is based on true events.

Roger Landis had been a pastor for a long time — thirty-five years, in fact — but in all ...

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