The Cost of Ministering Real Food
The Lord, Who wants the most and Whose heart is set upon "bread" for His people - that over the whole earth His people should receive strength, sustenance, building up, through your ministry, individually or collectively - if it is going to be like that, to satisfy that desire of His heart, you are going to have a difficult time; you are going through the "threshing-floor"; you are going to know the "bruising."
If the Lord is not able to do that, and He has to keep us on the elementary, easy-going basis, where we are all having a happy time, and the Lord very rarely does anything corrective and stringent, it is not a compliment to our spiritual life. It may just mean that He is not able to do all that He would do if He could in this great need of bread. . .
The idea has been very common in Christianity that it is a great and wonderful thing to be "mightily used of the Lord!" Oh, to be a great evangelist! Oh, to be a great teacher! Oh, to be a great Christian worker! Let me tell you, that is an entirely false conception. The truth is that those who serve the Lord most truly go through the deepest suffering. The balances are truly kept by God - extra suffering, extra usefulness; little suffering, little usefulness. That is how God keeps His balances.
. . . You may be having a more or less easy time. I do not want to dishearten you by saying it may not always be so, but if you really want to be of greater use to the Lord, remember It may be by a deeper discipline of the Lord. And if you are having a particularly difficult time, most likely it is because the Lord is going to meet needs more fully through you.