The late Dr. Billy Graham once said, “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” It comforts me to know someone as faithful as Dr. Graham has said something like this because I too have experienced discouragement on many occasions.
There were the times when as a pastor I was broken-hearted at the spiritual lethargy and backsliding of my parishioners. Nothing I did to stir them seemed to make any difference. It was hard when certain members of the church betrayed me or purposely made it difficult to lead effectively. It was especially difficult when the Board of Deacons at one church called for my resignation, when I had done nothing worthy of censure or dismissal. Instead, I had been proclaiming the unadulterated Gospel of Christ, which some found offensive. It was terribly discouraging as a young pastor to discover that doing right doesn’t always lead to a right result or that I would be rightly treated by people who should know what was right.
As executive director and lobbyist for the Christian Action League, there have been a lot of discouraging experiences.
There was the time when my lobbying activity blocked the proposal for a state-operated lottery dead in its tracks, when suddenly and unexpectedly everything changed, and that damnable predatory racket gained passage by one vote. Then there was an egregious piece of alcohol legislation that I was sure my advocacy had killed, but it later revived and passed by an act of political treachery. Certainly painful was when a rogue federal judge overturned the Marriage Protection Amendment added to North Carolina’s Constitution – a measure that I had labored on for ten years to see passed. Then there was the repeal of HB 2, commonly known as the bathroom bill, good sense legislation meant to protect women and children from having to share restrooms, showers, and locker rooms with men. HB 2 died from the media’s mammoth smear campaign and formidable political pressures from Leftist groups. Nothing done was effectual to save it.
Not long ago when I was discouraged and in a dark place, I hid away in my bedroom. While lying on the bed, Kim, my wife, came in and urged me to share what was troubling me. I opened up and recalled some of the things I’ve mentioned in this article, and concluded: “So many losses! So many disappointments! It causes you to ask, is it worth it? Why labor so passionately, so sacrificially, in the face of such failure?”
Seeking my comfort, Kim tenderly kissed me on the cheek and said, “Yes, it was worth it. It was worth it because Jesus is worth it! And it is worth continuing because he is worthy. He is worth every arduous mile of the journey, every insult, every injury, every inconvenience, and every incapacitation.”
Tears filled my eyes. How could I ever forget that Jesus was worth it?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech