“Do not rejoice in ‘ministry success’, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20, my own paraphrase)
When people are getting a grasp of what I’m saying during bible study, when I see a particular passage persuading a person and there’s that “I can trust God no matter what” conviction arising in them, when the friends around me are excited about reading the bible, praying and serving together — it’s easy to feel on top of the world.
But when something’s gone leery, the bible is not taught properly and we’re all caught up in picking the pieces up ourselves… there’s nothing to prop up my world.
Except for Jesus.
That’s why this verse was so instructive and timely for me. Jesus knew just how much I was actually relying on my own feelings to determine how much I can do in ministry. When it was all good, I felt like I would carry on, come-what-may; but when it wasn’t, I wanted to give up right away.
My joy was so misplaced — Jesus wants us to be joyful, he’s no killjoy, but he also knows where we can find our greatest joy… in him!
My potential was poorly estimated — Jesus wants us to be faithful and persevering in ministry because he is faithful and powerful. He’s already secured the future for all his people, including me!
I’ve gotta rely on Jesus to direct all my feelings under his rightful rule and see them in the light of the gospel. “Rejoice that my name is written in heaven” — the king of the universe died for me so that I can be under his loving rule!