What It Really Means To Win In Youth Ministry
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.--Psalm 90:14-15
It only takes a few minutes of listening to the prosperity Gospel preachers to capture their fixation on being a champion or a winner in life. Their (false) message is that if we just have faith, we'll always be successful. No harm will befall us. Faith = winning. Now, while we know that God is indeed in the business of blessing us, His children, the guys on TV seem to consistently miss the point. And we definitely never see them talk about the other side of the "blessing coin." All the feel-good, super-smiley pastors on TV don't mention the spiritual significance of trouble and adversity.
Is a trouble-free life filled with winning situations the ideal path God has in mind for each of us?
Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses. If you think back to Moses' story, especially the part of how he lead the Israelites out of Egypt, you'll recall he was familiar with tough times. In this passage, we see Moses asking to be made to rejoice in the humbling times of God's blessing and in the years of adversity. Why? Because Moses had apparently realized a truth that many of us have realized, as well: Tough times not only strengthen our faith, but help us realize our total need for God.
REAL "WINNERS" ARE THOSE WHO ACCEPT BOTH BLESSINGS AND TROUBLES AS WAYS GOD MOLDS US INTO THE PEOPLE HE WANTS US TO BE.
My hope for you is that you wouldn't have to experience tough times in your ministry or in your personal lives. But when they come, my prayer is that you'll be "eyes-wide-open" looking for God to move in the midst of your trials.