Recently I went to the Lord in prayer very heavyhearted, laden down with many cares. I began to plead my case before Him:

“Oh, Lord, I’ve never been so weary in all my life. I can hardly go on!” Then I began to weep. I was so exhausted the tears literally burst out of me. As I lay crying, I thought, “Surely my tears will move the Lord’s heart!”

The Holy Spirit did come and minister to me—but not in the way I thought he would! I wanted sympathy, encouragement, understanding. And he did give me all of that—but in a way much different from what I expected.

The Lord gently instructed me to go to 2 Corinthians 9:6–11 and he said everything I needed was contained in this passage:

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

“(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”

I read this passage and reread it—but I got nothing. Finally, I closed my Bible and prayed, “Lord, I’m confused. I see nothing here to help or encourage me.”

Finally, the Spirit spoke forcefully but lovingly to my inner man: “David, this has everything to do with what you are going through. Lately you have been serving me without a bountiful, cheerful spirit! Where is your joy and happiness in your service to me? My Word isn’t talking only about giving money to help the poor. It is speaking of ministry to me and to my body!

“I have called you to New York City and I did not send you without help or abundant resources. All that you need is available to you—strength, rest, power, ability, joy and cheer. There is no reason for you to labor with sadness, to be overburdened. You have access to all strength and joy!”