Ken Hemphill: does following God make you miserable?

Many Christians labor under the misconception that if they are doing the will of God they must be miserable. When I was a youth, I was convinced that if I ever fully surrendered my will to God's will, He would send me to deepest Africa where I would live in a mud hut, fend off snakes, and eat rotten monkey meat. My overactive childhood imagination had been fueled by too many missionary stories from Africa. Nevertheless, my childhood fear was real and expressed the concern that serving God must be laborious and painful or it isn't true service. Let's be honest; some of our service in any area is demanding, and some things we do in ministry we do out of obedience. Yet our service to the Lord through our gifts should be fulfilling and invigorating. Many Christians who experience burnout do so because they are serving in areas where they are not gifted.

In my own ministry I find fulfillment through my preaching ministry. I enjoy everything about the preaching task from the preparation to the delivery. Throughout my ministry I have been called on to preach multiple times each Sunday and each week. When I completed three messages on a Sunday morning, I was physically spent, but I was also fulfilled by the use of my gift. Counseling is another matter altogether. After a couple of hours of heart-wrenching counseling, I am ready for the sauna. That's not my gift. By the way those missionaries I mentioned who told the stories about fending off the snakes were joyous because they were fulfilled in their gifted ministry.

Hemphill, Ken (2009-06-01). You Are Gifted (Kindle Locations 4533-4544). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.


Ken Hemphilllis one of our speakers with the All Star Sunday School team. See