Why Do Pastors Feel Discouragement Amid Success?

Gavin Ortlund | April 30, 2015


Every (honest) pastor I know struggles in some way with discouragement. Discouragement has many triggers and comes in many different forms (like the demon in Mark 5:6-13, his name is legion). Perhaps the worst and most surprising discouragement is the kind that sneaks in during ministry success. 

There is a certain kind of deep, crushing discouragement to which we are most vulnerable only after God has sent his miracles, after our dreams have come true, after our prayers have been answered. It presses in when you are sitting silently in your office after preaching your best sermon, or when you are driving home alone after God has just sent revival, or when you wake up that subdued Monday morning right after a powerful Easter service.

Those are lonely, vulnerable moments. I have sat in my office, alone, after preaching my best sermon, and literally cried without knowing why. In the emotional depletion and quietness of those experiences, deep questions surface: Is that it? Does what I’m doing really matter? Am I making any difference at all? What next?

That is Elijah predicament in 1 Kings 19. Elijah has one the greatest triumphs in the entire Bible in 1 Kings 18, single-handedly cleansing the nation…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-do-pastors-feel-discouragement-amid-success.