In my reading the other day Joel Beeke and Terry Slachter quote John Flavel regarding pastoral ministry. I thought it was very convicting and as a young pastor I hope that at my day’s end I would be found faithful in the ministry. Brothers, please take heed to these words as they accurately speak of the nature of our calling.
“The labours of the ministry will exhaust the very marrow from your bones, hasten old age and death. They are fitly compared to the toil of men in harvest, to the labours of a woman in travail, and to the agonies of soldiers in the extremity of a battle. We must watch then others sleep. And indeed it is not so much the expense of our labours, as the loss of them, that kills us. It is not with us, as with other labourers: They find their work as they leave it, so do not we. Sin and Satan unravel almost all we do, the impressions we make on our people’s souls in one sermon, vanish before the next…. Yea, we must fight in defense of the truths we preach, as well as study them to paleness, and preach them unto faintness: but well-spent head, lungs, and all; welcome pained breasts, aching backs, and trembling legs; if we can by all but approve ourselves Christ’s faithful servants, and hear that joyful voice from his mouth, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants.'”
 Joel R. Beeke and Terry D. Slachter, Encouragement for Today’s Pastors: Help from the Puritans (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2013), 12-13.