Isn’t that the truth? So often, we are overwhelmed by our obstacles. Whatever it is. Financial. Spiritual. Relational. Physical. So often, we view our obstacles as working against us, but what if they are an opportunity to advance?
In Mark 13, Jesus was teaching the disciples about the last days. He wasn’t painting a pretty picture of what was coming against them, and really what is coming against all of us who believe. It is an obstacle of epic proportions. Look at what He says in verse 9.
Mark 13:9 “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”
See that? Their arrest, trial, even their torture Jesus said would be an opportunity. Only God can make an opportunity out of an obstacle like that. And we have evidence of the apostles doing this exact thing on several occasions throughout Scripture.
Peter and John in Acts 4 saying, “We can’t help but speak about what we’ve seen and heard.” Stephen in Acts preaching a sermon while he is about to be stoned to death. Paul and Silas were praising God in prison, which led to the prison guard receiving Christ. When Paul was on trial towards the tail end of Acts, he took the opportunity to preach the Gospel to a packed auditorium. In his letter to the Philippians, he basically told them, “I’ll turn my prison cell into a pulpit!”
All through the New Testament, we see these early followers of Jesus view their obstacle as an opportunity, and they were able to overcome them. This doesn’t mean their obstacles went away either. Peter was arrested again and eventually crucified for his faith. Stephen was stoned to death just a few moments after his sermon. Paul eventually ended up in a prison cell in Rome where he would die.
Not all of them were rescued from their obstacle, but all of them overcame it. That’s how I want to view my obstacles; as opportunities. Opportunities to reflect God’s glory. Opportunities to celebrate God’s goodness. Opportunities to share the Gospel. Opportunities to grow in my faith.
What obstacles are you facing that need to be viewed as an opportunity?