The Trials and Results of Ministry, part 2
Three weeks ago, we began looking at this passage in which Paul talks about treasure stored in clay pots. The Gospel is a great treasure, and those who have the Gospel and who proclaim it to others are the clay pots.
At the beginning of the church age, as believers were spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire, they faced enormous obstacles, including persecution, harassment, and opposition. They faced imprisonment and death in many cases. Yet none of this opposition prevented the early believers from spreading the Gospel message far and wide.
Today, we are facing increased hostility from our culture. Large parts of our society have rejected the Bible, and those who still believe in biblical principles will experience increasing opposition to our views. That opposition leads to difficulties in the Christian ministry.
Part of our text talks about the trials of Christian ministry, which are often many and severe. Paul tells us about some of the troubles that he experienced, including various pressures, frustrations, persecutions, afflictions, abuse, and the constant threat of death. That was his experience as he engaged in Christian ministry.
Likewise, if we participate in Christian ministry, we will experience some of the same afflictions, opposition, and trials. But these problems should not stop us from involvement in Christian ministry. The work of God is costly, but the results are worth the efforts. It’s a great privilege to serve as a clay pot. We contain the treasure of the Gospel and convey that message to others.
Christian ministry is costly and often painful. But we should also keep in mind that the results of ministry far outweigh the costs. Let’s consider what Paul says about the results of Christian ministry.