1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (NKJV)
Many AdversariesIsn't it exciting to think of a great and effective door opening for you? Imagine it! Are there things you dream of accomplishing, but it seems the door is closed? Maybe it seems as if there is no way for your dream to be accomplished and yet you dream it just the same. This verse gives us hope that not only will a great door open, but that it will be effective as well.
At times there are open doors that look like they will lead to success. But then when you walk through them, nothing happens, and the dream crumbles before your eyes. Other times a great door opens, and it is not only great, but effective. Once you walk through, things start to click, and you can really see God's hand in it.
Open Doors and AdversityThere is a natural tendency to think that when God opens doors, that everything will go smoothly, and you won't have any hardship, trouble, or failure. But the verse above actually indicates the opposite is true: when a great and effective door is open, when the potential is there to be really used by God, there will be not a few, but many adversaries.
A human tendency is to look at opposition as a sign that you are doing something wrong. Perhaps sometimes that is true, but it can also be true that when you begin to walk through the great and effective door the Lord has opened for you, and start to do exactly what he has called you to do, that opposition abounds, and the adversaries before you seem to multiply before your eyes.
It is possible for trouble to come because you're going the wrong direction and walking in disobedience to God. Other times, however, the adversaries are there precisely because you are heading in the exact direction the Lord wants you to go, and the opposition is fierce because of it.
Discerning AdversityIt is important to discern when the adversaries are there because you've missed the mark and are attempting to do something the Lord doesn't want you to do, or when they are there precisely because you're on the brink of a major breakthrough. If you've waited on the Lord and determined that you are indeed heading in the right direction, press in during the midst of setbacks so that the door before you will not only be open, but effective.
Rebecca Livermore is a freelance writer, speaker and contributor for About.com. Her passion is helping people grow in Christ. She is the author of the weekly devotional column Relevant Reflections on www.studylight.org and is a part-time staff writer for Memorize Truth (www.memorizetruth.com). For more information visit Rebecca's Bio Page.