An Open Door with Adversaries
"For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries." (1 Corinthians 16:9 ESV)
"A wide door for effective work has opened to me." I love this. I dream of this happening in my ministry, and I think it's happening as we start a new church. I pray this for many of my friends as well. There's nothing like seeing God open the door for effective ministry in a time and place.
"...and there are many adversaries." An open door does not mean no opposition. It does not mean no hardship. I love that Paul sees opportunity where we might see only opposition. Many of us would consider opposition a closed door. Paul did sometimes, but he didn't here.
R.B. Hays nails it: "The place of greatest risk may also be the place of greatest opportunity for proclaiming the gospel." Spurgeon writes:
Wherever there is likely to be great success, the open door and the opposing adversaries will both be found. If there are no adversaries, you may fear that there will be no success. A boy cannot get his kite up without wind, nor without a wind which drives against his kite. A contrary wind does much more for us than we suppose. Adversaries advertise the gospel, and so spread it.
God help us see the open doors for effective work we'd otherwise miss because there's also opposition.