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Birth Pains

I recall speaking with a fellow proclaimer of the gospel who was struggling with his calling. His struggle is not isolated, as there are times when all of God’s servants struggle. Let me be honest and transparent. There is a cost that some pastors, preachers, and ministers endure, such as the disappointments, trials, heartaches, and troubles that we experience. It is not about being martyrs, but it is about understanding what is required to follow Him. Luke 9:23 says, “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” And in Matthew 26:39 (KJV) the Lord said, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” It costs a great deal for us to follow the Master. Likewise, it cost a great deal for Him to do the will of the Father. In Matthew 24:8, we read these words:

“But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”

Matthew refers to these sufferings as birth pains. He also warns that false messengers will deceive the people. We cannot be misled or misguided by false teachings. When we hear about prosperity ministry, we often forget that it costs a great deal to follow Christ. Material blessings are part of our ministry, but
suffering is a part as well. We cannot have one without the other. I pray that we have counted the cost to follow Him – including the birth pains – and we are still willing to go all the way.