Difficult messages are difficult to deliver. Whether you have to call someone to give them news you are sure will disappoint them or you have to call someone to tell them you were hurt by words they said or if you have to meet with someone to tell them they were just outright wrong in the information they shared. Difficult messages are difficult to deliver.
From a minister’s standpoint, difficult messages become difficult to deliver when you think some may hear the message and then never return to the church. A broken personal relationship between the preacher and a parishioner will probably lead to a family leaving a church. Confrontation in the church is difficult because of the foreseeable consequences.
Imagine being Timothy, a young pastor, being left in a city to lead a church with the Apostle Paul as your Elder challenging you to set up a church with older men leading the church while younger men carry out the service of the church and you, Timothy, will be the preacher to the church. What an overwhelming charge to a young man who probably received the best training you could receive, that being from Paul, but being left with a group of people staring at you and expecting you to lead them.
The comfort Timothy could take, however, is in the words Paul wrote to him that we read in 2 Timothy chapter 4. The most inspiring words Paul could write to Timothy, he did in a simple five-word phrase that not only should inspire preachers around the world but Christians in general. The words he wrote are, “Preach the Word of God.” While Paul prefaces that phrase with these convicting pressurized words, “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up His Kingdom,” the comfort comes in Timothy being sure he is doing the right thing as long as he is preaching the Word of God.
Paul went on to tell Timothy that many people today are looking for someone who will tickle their ears instead of giving them the difficult message of the truth. And aren’t we so simply motivated and inspired by quotes and phrases that aren’t God’s Word and are designed to have us focus on ourselves instead of keeping our eyes focused on Jesus? Preach the Word of God. Paul ends the paragraph by telling Timothy to be prepared and patient. Always be prepared because the time may be when you want it to be, but most likely it will be in a moment that could catch you off guard, so always be prepared to preach the Word of God. And be patient, because people won’t always want to hear the difficult message the Word of God may have to deliver, but don’t let that stop you from preaching the Word of God.
Truth isn’t always easy to hear, nor is it always easy to speak. What we do know is that when we preach the Word of God, we are doing what God wants and in the end, He is the one that judges. Preach the Word of God. Preach it with your words and with your actions. And the more we preach it, the less difficult it becomes.