October 4, 2017 By Eric Geiger
Charles Spurgeon started ministry at sixteen years old, led the largest evangelical church of his day, published more words in English than anyone, preached to celebrities and royalty, earned millions of dollars, gave it all away, and was by almost any measure
a success. Yet he battled anxiety, depression, and significant suffering. He knew the pressures of leadership and ministry like few others. Here are seven encouragements from one tired, stressed, faithful leader to you:
1. “The trees bow in the wind, and so must we.”
“The trees bow in the wind, and so must we. Every time the sheep bleats it loses a mouthful, and every time we complain we miss a blessing. Grumbling is a bad trade, and yields no profit, but patience has a golden hand. Our evils will soon be over. After rain comes clear shining; black crows have wings; every winter turns to spring; every night breaks into morning” (John Ploughman’s Talk, 57-58).
2. “Whatever wrong I suffer it cannot do me half so much hurt as being angry about it.”
“Nothing is improved by anger, unless it be the arch of a cat’s back. A man with his back up is spoiling his figure. People look none the handsomer for being red in the face… Whatever wrong I suffer it cannot do me half so much hurt as being angry about it” (John Ploughman’s Pictures, 160).
3. “Grace, by its matchless art, has often turned the heaviest of our trials into occasions for heavenly joy.”
“Our afflictions are like weights, and have a tendency to bow us to the dust, but there is a way of arranging weights by means of wheels and pulleys, so that they will even lift us up. Grace, by its matchless art, has often turned the heaviest of our trails into occasions for heavenly joy” (Feathers for Arrows, 18).
4. “Half our fears arise from neglect of the Bible.”
“Brethren, a want of familiarity with the Word of God is very often the seed-plot of our doubts! Half our fears arise from neglect of the Bible. Our spirits sink for want of the heavenly food stored up in the inspired Volume” (MTP 33:489).
5. “If God cares for you, why need you care too?”
“If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God” (Morning and Evening, January 6, AM).
6. “Settle the centre, and the circumference is secure.”
“There is neither in heaven nor earth nor hell anything that we need fear when we are once right with God. Settle the centre, and the circumference is secure” (MTP 23:148).
7. “Remember that you have not lost your ‘all.’ You still have Christ, and he is ‘all.’”
“You, who have lately lost your loved ones, and you, who have been brought low by recent losses in business, are you fretting over your losses? If so, remember that you have not lost your ‘all.’ You still have Christ, and he is ‘all.’ Then, what have you lost? Yes, I know that you have something to grieve over; but, after all, your ‘light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;’ therefore, comfort yourself with this thought, —‘I have not really lost anything, for I still have all’”