Scripture: Judges 9-10, Psalm 49, 1 Corinthians 16
1 Corinthians 16:8-9 I will stay here in Ephesus until the day of Pentecost. There is a real opportunity here for great and worthwhile work, even though there are many opponents.
Paul decided to stay on in Ephesus because that was “a real opportunity for great and worthwhile work.” Sounds great! Who wouldn’t want to stay for that? Wait…there’s more. “…even though there are many opponents.”
Real opportunity…and many opponents.
We all want the opportunity; the opponents…not so much. When I run into opposition or resistance, when it gets hard, I catch myself whining or complaining, wondering why it has to be hard. Hard is part of the bargain. As one friend told me, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
Any great opportunity will face opposition. This is especially true of spiritual opportunities. When you have a chance to do something great for Jesus, there will be resistance. Resistance from the evil one, resistance from the world, resistance from your own human nature.
Don’t run from the opposition. Embrace the opportunity. That’s what Paul did. And look what happened:
Acts 19:10 This went on for two years, so that all the people who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Gentiles, heard the word of the Lord.
Paul embraced the opportunity, faced the opposition, stayed in Ephesus and not only planted a great church in Ephesus, but the gospel radiated out from there through the whole province of Asia (modern Turkey).
Today, I will fearlessly embrace the opportunity Jesus sets before me despite the opposition.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for me and for all the Christians I know that we will not run from opposition, but embrace the opportunity and see what You will do!