“But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
—Isaiah 49:14–16, KJV
Let’s see a show of hands of those who want to be forgotten—about anything in life. Of course we can’t see any raised hands. No one wants to be forgotten. Is there one who wants to stand and be counted? As finite beings, I know of no one who can rejoice about being forgotten in life today.
Are there any among us who have not ever been frustrated? On this, there should not be a great show of hands. I would think we all have had frustration camp at our doorsteps. No shame should come with this fact. I have been there; and at those times the Spirit of the Lord has been there for me. The Holy Spirit will be there for any of God’s children who need his strength to bolster their faith.
Sometimes frustration will lift its ugly head in ministry. Frustration can lead to feelings that you’re alone, that no one seems to care, or that you’re isolated in the Lord’s ministry. Frustration is like a cancer, eating away at our health and well-being. Frustration can lead to attacks by Satan to disrupt the flow of God in our lives. When we speak of being frustrated, it is dissatisfaction with the circumstances in which we find ourselves. God doesn’t want us to be dissatisfied for any reason, especially when it comes to the call to lead in small assignments, behind the littlest pulpits. Pastor, whether you are in a large or small setting, do the best that the Master would have you do. Only God can make up the shortfalls.
I don’t know if you are bivocational, but if you are, please know that God has your back, front, and sides.
I don’t know if you are bivocational, but if you are, please know that God has your back, front, and sides. It may seem hard now, but don’t be frustrated. My wife and I both worked side jobs and extra hours to help carry the load and make ends meet. There was not much money coming in, but we ministered to every ethnic group in our community without exception. You too must carry the work to everyone, utilizing every means available to you. Don’t be guilty of always looking for “your kind” of folk; you will hinder the movement of God if you allow this. That type of mentality is not pleasing to the Lord, and it can lead to frustration because you may not always reach many who look like you. Small assignments may bring with them the frustrations associated with any ministry. When things don’t take off, don’t be guilty of trying to get ahead of God or pressed trying to do the Lord’s work without his help, to move the ministry forward.
I learned a valuable lesson in my ministry mistakes, even though my frustrations added up and caused things that I regretted. When I look back, I see that because of my lack of faith and trust in God’s awesome power, I had to learn through the chastisement of the Lord. “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:10–11; KJV). We stayed the course. I share these things by way of experience because they happened to me, and I want to pass it on, from one small-church pastor to another. This is a burden that you cannot bear alone. While someone else may not know how you feel or know what you go through, God does. The Word of the Lord really helped me in a great way. Dear Pastor, it’s going to be all right. God is on your side, and he’ll never, ever, ever forsake you, and he’ll never forget you. God holds you close to himself for his glory; for his eternal purposes, that his will may be worked out in your life. This is what the Lord said through the writings of the prophet Isaiah prophetically.
The church of God is in good hands, and Pastor, you are in good hands. No assignment is too small for him to notice.
The church of God is in good hands, and Pastor, you are in good hands. No assignment is too small for him to notice. When it looks bad, look up. He’s there for you. The littlest pulpits are designed by him, to bring him Glory. This is a promise that we can count on, especially in the small places. I was in a small assignment, standing behind a little pulpit, but the Lord was getting ready to strengthen and elevate his ministry through us.
The district assembly was being held that first year of the Lord’s ministry through us. I was asked to come forward and share my testimony, which I did joyfully. I told the facts of how the Lord delivered me and set my feet on the solid rock to stay. Little did I know that the city newspaper was covering the assembly. A reporter found me after the benediction and asked if he could do a story about our ministry.
A few days later he was sitting in our tiny living room, covering the Lord’s work and my testimony. The Lord did not forget our struggles, and he did not forsake us. A few days later my picture and testimony appeared in the city newspaper—for his honor and glory, I cannot boast! I had the opportunity to share my entire testimony, telling how the Lord Jesus Christ rescued me from a sinful life and debauchery, including drug addiction. I also had the opportunity to share the vision for our lives, the church, and the community. True to his Word, we were graven upon the palms of his hands. Talking with that reporter reinforced the fact that God had begun a great work in us and that it was going to continue. That’s just one of many instances that the Lord showed himself faithful to us.
If you find yourself in a tight spot, cry out to God and wait for his divine help. He won’t leave you alone. There is nothing wrong in crying out to the brethren as well, not for pity but for assistance to bear the load. We all are part of the family of God, and we should (we must) dwell together in unity and love, striving for the cause of Christ. The enemy would have you feel that you are all by yourself, that no one cares, and that you’ve been forgotten, but that’s not true. There may be some who have not allowed the Lord Jesus Christ to break the shackles of racial prejudices, and may the Lord help them. But across the years, I have met many brethren of different races, solid disciples of Christ who purposefully made themselves available to help us and the church when I was at a low point. Don’t let frustration wear you down; it does take its toll. I learned a very valuable lesson that’s helped me across the years, and to this day. There are those who are willing and able to help spiritually, physically, and financially in the work of God.
God is right by your side to lift you up when there seems to be darkness and no way out. He’s a mighty fortress for you and I. We can really lean on him, no matter what the circumstances. Know that you are saved and walking in the center of his will. You haven’t escaped his notice or care, for how can they hear without you? You are the preacher! Be encouraged. You have been sent to that small place, that littlest pulpit, by the Lord. Pastor, your feet are beautiful as you stand at that pulpit and preach the gospel of peace, bringing glad tidings of good things. So if you’re frustrated and weary of the many difficulties you face, take courage. You, my friend, are not forgotten. As you stand in your place, remember that the Word of God is your anchor.