People give up when the price to go on gets too high. They shut down a new business when the bills start piling up. They divorce when there is too much stress in the relationship. They change their major in college when they get bored with what they're doing.
Ministers are the same... many quit when the price gets too high. Every year about 1500 pastors quit the ministry. I believe that most of the time it's because the price is too high. Maybe they've prayed and prayed for something, but never see the results. Maybe they've given and given, but feel as if they've not received anything in return. Maybe the church, the people they're counseling, or even their leaders seem to make no progress... they possibly even decline.
But we have to be able to persevere through the hard times if we ever wish to see the good times. We can't expect the devil to allow us to fulfill God's plan unopposed. Hard times are a part of life in the real world. Actually, Paul told Timothy to expect them... and to endure them! (2 Tim. 2:3, 4:5) How we handle hard times will determine our ability to complete God's will for our lives.
One of my mentors says your church will grow to the size of your pain threshold. How true that is! When we reach our pain threshold (our price), most of us give up. And the thing about it is that once the devil finds our price, he knows what buttons to push the next time. And it will get harder and harder to keep going.
So the $64,000 question is... how do I increase my pain threshold? I believe that it's nothing other than time spent with God, and with a community of supportive believers. And Heb. 12:3 tells us that in the face of opposition we should consider Jesus, and what He endured to accomplish His mission. It also helps to know that you're in God's will. If we do these things, we will be able to endure the hard times in order to see the positive results on the other side.