Opportunity Amidst Adversity

1 Corinthians 16:9

“For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

Paul wrote this epistle (First Corinthians) from the city of Ephesus (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:8). It was a city filled with idolatrous religions. It was the centre of the worship of the Greek goddess, Diana (or Artemis). The famous temple of Diana was situated in Ephesus. Many immoral practices were tolerated in the name of that religion. There were also exorcists and various occult practitioners.

Through Paul’s preaching, many have left their paganism and turned to Christ. When many turned to Christ, the businesses of those who made a living out of selling idols and other religious objects were affected. That had provoked the idolatrous city-dwellers to great wrath. They in turn unleashed great opposition to Christian activities and persecution of Christians.

Though religious animosity increased, Paul noticed that “a great door and effectual” was opened unto him. Apparently, more and more people were eager to hear the Gospel and rejoice in its truths. Paul did not allow hostility to dampen his zeal for the preaching of the Gospel. Like the apostle Paul, we too must press on even though some would reject or oppose our Christian faith and activities. Adversity may be intense, but God can open for us great and effective doors!

In the work of the Gospel, when opposition arises, we must not be dejected, but rather persevere, counting every opportunity to spread the Gospel as a divinely opened door for an effective ministry.

Prabhudas Koshy