ALL OPPOSED, SAY …?
I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
1 Corinthians 16:8-9
Open door or closed door has become a catchphrase in Christian circles — and for good reason. The idea is found in Scriptures such as the one quoted above. There is a danger, however, that one might assume any kind of obstacle — any encounter with the least bit of resistance — constitutes a closed door.
The apostle Paul writes about his plan to stay for a while in Ephesus, reasoning that God has opened the door for some great work there. Yet with the very next stroke of the pen, he calmly states that there is also incredible opposition in that city. Sounds more like a closed door, doesn’t it? Or does it?
Clearly, Paul does not base his idea of an “open door” on the ease or the speed at which the task will be completed. He is not so naive as to think that the gospel will gain any ground without Satan putting up his best fight. The door may be wide-open, but that doesn’t mean an enemy army isn’t waiting on the other side! The truth is that with great opportunity comes great opposition!
What kind of opposition are you facing today? Don’t be discouraged! God isn’t necessarily closing the door. It could be that he is asking you to persevere and hang on to him as he leads you to victory.
May you find hope in the words of the 1782 hymn “Awake My Soul to Joyful Lays” by Samuel Medley:
Though numerous hosts of mighty foes,
Though earth and hell my way oppose,
He safely leads my soul along —
His lovingkindness, O how strong!
Help me remain faithful, Lord …