I've been active in all things church for at least 6 years doing anything from teaching the bible, leading worship, cleaning toilets (literally) and have been a part of two church plants.
Over and over again I've faced situations that have made me want to quit, things that would beat up my heart so bad to the point where I feel there's not much left to give. Could be anything from not meeting the standards that people I have led placed on me, or being too broke to get by in a city God has called me to. The worse is when the people that are there during the victories, are nowhere to be found in the failures.
It's been tempting wanting to give in to failure and isolate. Jeremiah had similar moments too.
Talking about God got Jeremiah in trouble. It seems like at one point he had made the decision to not speak a word about God to anyone anymore. But then he writes in Jeremiah 20:9, "If I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can't do it!"
It's in those low moments where I've come close to making the decision to quit that my heart starts to burn, and the Holy Spirit reminds me that the small things that I do make a difference for all eternity for someone else. I start to look at the work that I have been a part of and the fruit that it bore and get reminded that I had a small part in ushering someone to Jesus.
These circumstances that I face and the feelings of failure cannot, even if the enemy tried, alter someone's eternity. If I suffer because the devil is mad that I had something to do with someone giving their life to Jesus, that person will still go to heaven and will not be rerouted to hell, even if I'm living in a cardboard box in an alley or even if I lose a friend.
I've learned to say in all the hard times, especially when I recognized that the suffering is there because the devil is mad, that hell is still emptier and heaven is still fuller. On a bad day, that makes everything ok. And I quickly go from wanting to give up, to thinking like Jeremiah, with His word burning in my heart like fire with me being unable to hold it in... I just can't do it.
In the end, I just start realizing how much of an honor it is to minister. I get reminded that the work of ministry is not a burden but a joy because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And if ever I get to a point again where I feel like I can't handle it, that's the perfect place to be, because then I get to run to Jesus and lean on Him when I'm falling apart. I get the rest I need, and the strength from Him to keep fighting this war for souls, making hell emptier and heaven fuller.