Today’s Scripture: And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:38-40

According to the latest statistics, 80% of pastors think pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents. Fifty-three percent of pastors report seminary did not prepare them for the ministry. Ninety percent of pastors report the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be before they entered the ministry. Fifty-two percent of pastors feel overworked and cannot meet their church’s unrealistic expectations.

Ministry is hard work. Being a strong, effective, moral leader isn’t for the faint of heart.

Going through the trials of leadership can feel like a boat ride in rough seas. Thankfully, I am not afflicted by sea sickness, but many of those who I have taken ocean fishing have suffered through it. John, on his first ocean fishing trip, was no exception. With every pitch of the boat, he wondered if he would survive the remaining two hours before we got to land. A fellow fisherman said to him, “Don’t worry. No one has ever died of seasickness.” John said, “You’ve just taken away my last hope of relief.”

The hardships and trials of leadership can almost make you feel like you would rather die. Many great leaders, like Charles Spurgeon and Abraham Lincoln, have been affected by deep depression as they led. Maybe you have even thought about quitting the ministry.

Whatever the case, know this: God is with you. He will not fail you. Many leaders have nosedived, but our true Leader, the Captain of our ship, has never failed us. It is to Him and for Him we live, breathe, and lead.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder