“It has been my experience that the young preacher in his first church and the middle-aged preacher (in perhaps his third or fourth church) are the most susceptible to discouragement. This is not difficult to understand. The young seminarian marches bravely into his first church with high ideals, only to face the steamroller of reality and the furnace of criticism. He waves his banners bravely for a year or so, then takes them down quietly and makes plans to move. The middle-aged minister has seen his ideals attacked many times, but now he realizes that time is short and he might not attain to the top thirty of David’s mighty men.”
“God help the preacher who abandons his ideals! But, at the same time, God pity the preacher who is so idealistic he fails to be realistic. A realist is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been purified. A skeptic is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been burned. There is a difference.” (from: Preaching to Convince)
I put this in because it was helpful to me. In searching for artwork to accompany the post, I came across the picture above. In case the text is too small for you to read, it says this: “In spite of everything, I shall rise again; I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement and I will go on with my drawing.” –Vincent van Gogh.