2 Corinthians 7:13
Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
Paul not only ministerered the word and life of Christ to the churches, but he was always keen to receive some refreshment from the people he ministered to. Though he gave a lot more than any could pay him back, he was fond for any refreshment he could get. He was not too proud to forgo this.
I believe even Jesus sought refreshment from Mary, Martha and Lazarus when he took a break and stayed with them for a couple of days.
I am ministering the word of God in our church on a regular base. I am working a full time job, and not a paid pastor. I never asked for a penny. There were times when a received a barrage of criticism and it hurt. I know this is part of the job of being a preacher and criticism mostly refines you more than praise. Not only wolves bite, sheep can bite, too! Looking at the faces in our congregation I see only little response and most go home afterward mostly without any comments.
Often I go home feeling totally drained. Of course, I seek fellowship with the Lord, but I long for being refreshed by godly fellowship, and I get very little of it. There is only one lady in our fellowship with learning disabilities who refreshes me by asking questions about Jesus and His word. It means so much to me!
One might say, do not seek the praises of men. I do not mean praises, but rather see that the word I ministered has deposited something of the Holy Spirit in them, as Paul said in
Romans 1:11-12 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
I am not asking pity, but I wonder how many preachers experience the same? I guess a lot. Oftentimes I ask myself, is it because my preaching lacks anointing? Or is it because the hearers are “dull of hearing” as Hebrews 5:11 puts it?
I see that Jeremy, Elijah, Moses and even Jesus experienced this.
Oftentimes I feel I want to quit ministering, but then I fear to desert the ministry without being discharged by the Lord.
Has anyone here ever wrestled through this?