One of the hardest things for me, in ministry, is the occasional heartbreak that goes along with loving people. I am amazed at the depth of love and compassion God has given me for those He has called me to serve. They have wormed their way into my heart (-smile-) and when they hurt, I hurt too. This is one of those times. My heart literally feels broken over a situation someone is experiencing. I have cried, I have prayed, I have mourned right alongside them.
How do you minister Jesus’ love and compassion when your heart is breaking too?
- Get real about your emotions. If you are sad, be sad. If you are disappointed, be disappointed. If you are in disbelief, be in disbelief. It is good and healthy to experience emotion. Stuffing it may get you by short-term, but the long-term results are disastrous.
- Give your emotions to the Lord. Ask Him to be your comforter and peace. Ask Him to heal and bind-up the hurt and broken places of your heart. Rest in His presence.
- Pray for those who are hurting. When your own words fail you, go to His Word. An excellent verse that I am praying right now is Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and heart may fail. But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
- Be “Jesus with skin on”. Many times the Gospels say that “Jesus was moved with compassion”. Compassion leads to action. What action steps can you take to show Jesus love? A text, a phone call, a coffee date, doing something practical to help? Most people know that Jesus loves them, but during difficult times, they need their Jesus to have skin on so they can be assured of His love through you.
- Give them hope. Because we serve a risen Savior, there is no situation beyond hope. Offer hope by reminding them of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Point out any glimmer of His goodness. Call out His faithfulness, even in the midst of difficult situations. Life is hard, but GOD. IS. GOOD.
Even though heartbreak is a difficult thing, it is also a good thing. It means that you are doing the job God has called you to do. He has called you to love and shepherd His people. Thankfully, He is the Good Shepherd and as you shepherd others, He will Shepherd you.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Your Friend in Ministry,