"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (1 Tim. 2:3).

From the day Kenneth and I were married, we consecrated our lives to God to do whatever He had for us in the ministry, no matter what the cost. We began to understand early on what the Word meant when it said, "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Kenneth was already in the ministry when we were married. Many of you have heard him say that before we were married, he made it clear to me that the Lord came first in his life.

Kenneth said to me, "I love you more than anyone in the whole world, except the Lord. I love Him most of all, and I must put Him first. I must do what He calls me to do. If God says, 'Go to Africa,' then I must go to Africa. If the Lord says, 'Go to India,' I will have to go to India."

I loved Kenneth, and I respected him. I also respected the call of God on his life. I always wanted to be an asset to my husband's ministry, not a detriment.

Although I knew when I married Kenneth that he was a minister and had the call of God on his life, I myself knew nothing about the ministry. I said to Kenneth, "I don't have a pulpit ministry, but I am a part of your ministry. I will help you do what God has called you to do."

And we've been serving the Lord together in the ministry ever since.

Saying Yes To God's Plan
Working in the ministry is wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But before I was married, I had always said I would never marry a minister. (Don't ever say you won't do something for God. You might end up doing that very thing!)

A minister is on call 24 hours a day. At one time I didn't want that. But God had something else planned for me, and I said yes to His plan. I'm so glad I did, because nothing could be more rewarding to me than working for the Lord Jesus Christ with my husband.

Everything God did in our lives and ministry had its day of small beginnings.

During our first Campmeeting in 1973, Kenneth said by the unction of the Holy Spirit, "We're going to start a training center." Later, Kenneth hadn't even realized what he had said. We had to play the tape back for him so he could hear it for himself! But that's how RHEMA got started.

When Kenneth and I began RHEMA Bible Training Center in 1974, we had no idea it would grow in size like it has and be what it is today.

After that Campmeeting in 1973, Kenneth and I went to Indianapolis where we attended one of Norvel Hayes' meetings. After the meeting, a group of us were sitting around a table fellowshipping together. Kenneth was talking to someone else when suddenly Norvel tapped me on the shoulder. The Lord had just shown him a vision of the training center.

"Oretha!" Norvel said, "I see the campus of the training center! It's a big, beautiful campus with lots of students!"

When Norvel said that, I froze. "Oh, no, Norvel," I said, "we don't want that! We just want a small place to teach people who want to go into the ministry - maybe fifty students."

What Norvel said really frightened me at first. I knew what an awesome responsibility it is to be a leader and an example to so many. I didn't want to ever present the wrong example to people or give them wrong advice.

Some young Christians get their eyes on ministers so much that if a minister makes a wrong move, they fall away, and some of them never get back on track with the Lord.

Staying Faithful To Your Call
I wrestled with the thought of it all for a while. I had to get my will synchronized with God's will. At first, Kenneth didn't want to start a training center either. But the Lord had been dealing with him about it for some time, and the time finally came when Kenneth had to do something about it. I also said, "Okay, Lord. I want to do Your will, not my own." And we obeyed God.

When you're doing what God has told you to do and you're serving Him, it doesn't matter how tough the going gets, God is always faithful. Payday doesn't always come every Saturday night, but if you are faithful to God and His Word, payday always comes.

It is just beautiful what God can do for you if you stay faithful to what He has called you to do, whether you are called to the full-time ministry or not.

Some of you may be going through hard times in your lives. You may be facing tests and trials, and you may be thinking you cannot take another step in faith or face another day.

You may think it's too hard to serve God - that the price is too great to walk in God's will and to fulfill His plan and His purpose for your life.

But the price is not greater than God's grace. Doing the will of God is worth every test or trial you may face, because when you are trusting God, you will come out of each test or trial victorious. And through every victory, you will become stronger and better equipped to serve God.

You will be rewarded if you will make the commitment to stand true to God even in the hard places in life.

Source: The Price is Not Greater Than God's Grace
by Oretha Hagin.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications