Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So You Want To Be A Preacher, Chris?

God makes preachers in the crucible. Never forget that. God makes a minister of the gospel by breaking his heart. Isn't that one thing that Jesus meant when He beckoned us to take up our cross and follow Him? (Ligon Duncan in Dear Timothy: Letters On Pastoral Ministry, p.208).

This depression comes over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my ministry; the cloud is black before it breaks, and overshadows before it yields its deluge of mercy. Depression has now become to me as a prophet in rough clothing, a John the Baptist, heralding the nearer coming of my Lord's richer benison. So have far better men found it. The scouring of the vessel has fitted it for the Master's use. Immersion in suffering has preceded the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Fasting gives an appetite for the banquet. The Lord is revealed in the backside of the desert, while His servant keepeth the sheep, and waits in solitary awe. The wilderness is the way to Canaan. The low valley leads to the towering mountain. Defeat prepares for victory. The raven is sent forth before the dove. The darkest hour of the night precedes the day-dawn. The mariners go down to the depths, but the next wave makes them mount towards the heavens; and their soul is melted before the Lord bringeth them to their desired haven (C.H. Spurgeon Autobiography, Volume 1, p. 264).

For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength, and we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:8, 9

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

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