The Mission of Our Hindrances
1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great door and effectual is opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

There are many adversaries. In life we always find that the "open door" and the "many hinderers" go together. Very seldom can we have the one without the other. For the use of the term "doer" as a figure for "opportunity," see Acts 14:27; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3. For the narrative which illustrates the expression here used, see Acts 19:19, 20. Of hindrances affecting St. Paul, we may think of

(1) his own frail health;

(2) the difficulties and dangers of travelling;

(3) the wilfulness sometimes shown by his travelling companions;

(4) the sudden and unexpected claims of the Churches altering his plans;

(5) the persistent and watchful opposition of his Jewish enemies; and we may even add

(6) the sometimes strange and trying limitations put by the guiding Spirit, as in Acts 16:6, 7.

That which was so evidently true of St. Paul is the common experience of God's servants; and we must accept the conditions, and win virtue out of the very limitations.

I. GOD'S PROVIDENCE IS EVER MAKING OPEN DOORS FOR US. This is true in educational life, and in business life. Every man sooner or later gets his turn and opportunity. But we observe how true it is both of personal Christian life and of Church life. God sets before us open doors, shows us spheres of service which we may occupy. And such we enter upon with great hopes and expectations, assuming that if Providence has so manifestly opened the door, the path within must be straight and plain and easy. This we find is not always true; for -


1. Often health fails at the moment of opportunity.

2. Sometimes the will to do it fades when the opportunity for doing appears.

3. Events as providential seem to block the path just inside the open door.

4. The work involves labour which seriously taxes energy and faith.

5. Too often we faint and fail, and prove the greatest hinderers of our work. We must fully accept the fact that, here on earth, God has put open doors and hindrances together, that the combination might nurture and develop the noblest qualities in his servants. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

WEB: for a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

St. Paul and His Purposes; His Friends; Earnest Exhortation
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