It belongs to your calling of God as a minister, that you should have a taste of the various spiritual trials which are incident to the Lord’s people, that thereby you may…know how to speak a word in season to them that are weary; and it is likewise needful to keep you perpetually attentive to that important admonition, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”
A crucified Savior can be preached in divine power only by crucified preachers.
If a preacher leaves his people where they are, seeking satisfaction in family and job and leisure and toys and sex and money and food and power and esteem, when suffering and death strip it all away they will be embittered and angry and depressed. And the worth and beauty and goodness and power and wisdom of God, the glory of God, will vanish in the cloud of murmuring, complaining, and cursing.
We must aim to preach in such a way that we breed a kind of people who feel loved not when they are made much of, but when they are patiently helped to enjoy making much of God, even when they themselves are slandered, ridiculed, persecuted, and killed.
People are not prepared or able to rejoice in suffering unless they experience a massive biblical revolution of how they think and feel about the meaning of life. Human nature and American culture make it impossible to rejoice in suffering. This is a miracle in the human soul wrought by God through His Word.
When a preacher preaches with joy (in the midst of) suffering, the people will see Christ for the infinite value that He is, and, seeing, will cherish Him above all things and thus be changed from one degree of glory to the next. The glory of God will be magnified in the church and in the world, and the great aim of preaching will be achieved.
God has ordained that our preaching become deeper and more winsome as we are broken, humbled, and made low and desperately dependent on grace by the trials of our lives.
If Jesus preached the same message minister’s preach today, He would have never been crucified.
Prophets in the Bible are often outcasts, not rock stars.
If any man will preach as he should preach, his work will take more out of him than any other labor under heaven.
Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.
There is no special honor in preaching, there is only special pain. The pulpit calls those anointed to it as the sea calls its sailors. And like the sea, it batters and bruises and does not rest. To preach, to really preach is to die naked a little at a time and to know each time you do it that you must do it again.
Sunday, A.M., May 5: Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore. Sunday, P.M., May 5: Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.” Sunday, A.M., May 12: Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either. Sunday, A.M., May 19: Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return. Sunday, P.M., May 19: Preached on street. Kicked off street. Sunday, A.M., May 26: Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service. Sunday, A.M., June 2: Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway. Sunday, P.M., June 2: Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.