Pastor Chris and Pastor Robbie are currently enrolled in Faith Bible Seminary's Master of Divinity program. They have been working on this degree since August of 2016 and wanted to share a brief update on how the Lord is working in their lives through this program. Last week we heard from Pastor Chris and this week we will hear from Pastor Robbie.
Seminary is not for the faint of heart, especially when ministry is involved. This would be comparable to going on a strenuous hike and doing everything you can to refrain from passing out. You’re parched, hoping to take a break, but if you keep moving, soon you’ll arrive. Now, place textbooks in your pack for additional reading, add in deep theological conversations along the way, and hold two different language books in either hand. Now, start hiking and respond to emails promptly. That’s similar to seminary and ministry at the same time.
Of course, this over dramatized delivery is not the case for every seminarian. But in my experience, through school and ministry, I have found myself trudging through what it means to live out truths found in the very subjects I am studying. This Masters of Divinity (or “Mastering the Divine,” as we often joke) is not the end goal, nor is having an effective children’s ministry. Through my weaknesses, the Lord has been challenging me to find joy in Christ’s perfect work amidst the imbalance of life.
We all struggle with balance, but it is far more difficult to live joyfully when things don’t go according to our plans. Paul is THE MAN when it comes to finding joy in these moments. After all, he’s the rough, rugged dude, with the high IQ, and a reputation as the apostle of apostles. This guy seemed to have gone through it all, and yet also appeared to have it all together. He would, however, disagree on all points. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 Paul reached the top of his climb. And looking out over the panorama of his ministry, he said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
When I get a passing grade on a Greek exam or see a child worship with hands raised in Harvest Kids, no part of me can take credit for this. Instead, I am reminded through each accomplishment that the victory belongs to God, and none of it can be accredited to Robbie. It is because of my wrestling through this journey that God is growing in me a heart for HIS glory.
I am learning to find joy in each new Hebrew word, and in church members grasping the importance of discipling children. No matter how quickly or slowly these things happen, each of them has been granted by God with grace, and in this, I rejoice.
So what have I been learning through seminary? That the greatest victory belongs to Christ, and the highest grade is His. No matter how great the destination sounds, glorifying God is about the journey AND the destination.