Unmet Expectations

“And say to Archippus, ‘See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord’" Colossians 4:17.

Paul does not provide reasons for this exhortation to Archippus, and we can only guess. Did he quit, or grow discouraged? We don’t know. But we do know some reasons why people grow discouraged today.

1. “I didn’t know it would be this hard.
Many of Christ’s choicest servants have uttered this from time to time. Paul predicted this as he wrote Timothy:

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3).

When you face hardships in serving Christ, consider the cause, not the difficulties. Our cause happens to be the greatest cause of all: reaching others. You not only serve a great God, but serve a great cause.

2. “I no longer feel fulfilled.”
Christian theologians and psychologists have made attempts to define feelings, but often differ. To be honest, feelings change with time and situations, but usually follow our heart. The more we put our heart into something, the more we feel good about what we do. But even if for a season we lack fulfillment, our mission triumphs over everything else. If we fully embrace Christ’s cause, good feelings will follow.

3. “I’m tired and don’t think I can continue.”
A helpful expression has floated around for many years that goes something like this:

“You can grow tired in the work, but don’t grow tired of the work.”

Well spoken. We all grow tired from time to time. Some need rest, and others need some sort of diversion to help them recharge their batteries. God will pick us up and give us abundant energy to fulfill His purposes. Let’s meditate on this verse each time we grow weary in the Lord’s work:

“He gives power to the faint, to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).

Finally, read this encouraging verse too:

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

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