Opportunity and Opposition
It is often true that some of our greatest opportunities come with some of our greatest opposition. In sports, the opportunity to win a championship is usually accompanied by the opposition of the best opposing team. The opportunity for a promotion often means the “opposition” of another very qualified candidate. It is rare that great opportunity is just handed to us. We see this principle at work in 1 Corinthians 16. This is the final chapter of this letter to the Corinthians and in this final chapter Paul is mentioning many different people, his desire to see them and his desire for them to accompany him on his travels. In the middle of the chapter Paul writes this: 8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians while he was ministering in the city of Ephesus. Note the opportunity and the opposition in verse 9. The “door” Paul is referring to is an opportunity to share the gospel and to encourage the saints at Ephesus. Paul didn’t always have a great opportunity to do this in all of the places he visited but he does in Ephesus. But that opportunity comes with opposition. He describes “many adversaries”; which would have included Jewish people who were against the spread of the gospel and other non-Jewish opposition to the good news of Jesus as this good news went in opposition to idol worship and other pagan religious practices. Please don’t think of opposition as always indicating a “closed door” of opportunity. On the contrary, often the opposition is standing in the way of a great opportunity to minister. Ask God for discernment. Don’t be afraid. Walk through the doors God intends, even if you have to push through opposition to do so.