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The Cause of Doubt and Discouragement

Two weeks ago I met with a man with whom I had graduated from seminary. He said, "Paul, I left seminary, and for two years I had a youth ministry. Kids were getting saved. Lives were being touched. People were being helped. Good things were happening, and boy, it was great! Two years later, I went into a church as a youth pastor, and for two years the youth group grew, and people were getting saved.

"Because the church as a whole was going downhill, the people said to me 'Would you start a church?' I did, and we were going to meet in the house the first day, but the room was too small. We ended up with 450 people the first Sunday.

"For twelve years the church grew to over a thousand people. It was great, and I would look at other seminary students I had graduated with who were frustrated and angry with God. I couldn't understand."

But five years ago, problem after problem after problem after problem hit his ministry, and he told me about all of them. When he goes back at the end of the summer, he will probably have to resign. Seventeen years preaching the Word, ministering to people, doing what God told him to do, and it's going to go down in smoke.

That's what causes doubt. That's what causes discouragement.

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