Overcoming Life’s Obstacles

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

— Romans 1:16

Have you ever noticed how any time we try to pursue something worthwhile, we always seem to be beset by a number of obstacles? Look at Paul’s goal to spread the Gospel in the first century; a goal made possible by Rome’s incredible roadway system, by the unifying language of everyday Greek, by the Pax Romana, and by the many synagogues in far-flung places that often became Stop 1 in his entrance to a new town.

His efforts to spread the Gospel over most of the Roman world have continued until the Gospel has been spread into every nation on the face of the earth. If you asked Paul how he was doing, I don’t think he would have told you the terrible travails he had undergone in persecution and in difficult travels. Today, we think nothing of getting on a superhighway or a jetliner and usually arriving at our destination in comfort or ease—not so in antiquity in most cases. But Paul wouldn’t generally have told you the suffering he underwent in his travels. Instead, Paul chose to look at things through the eye of faith, thus, in effect, he was going from glory to glory.

Anyone who thinks that it was easy for Paul ought to read 2 Corinthians 11, which shows that he faced one problem after another. Anything worthwhile may be fraught with difficulties. But those difficulties may not be a sign that you’re on the wrong track but rather on the right track after all.

Father God, You know how easy it is for us to give up when we face obstacles. Help me to see them as a sign that I’m doing something worthwhile and not an indication that I should quit…