Do you serve in a “difficult place” for ministry? A place where the work is hard and progress slow?
“This is a difficult place, Pastor,” someone says, “People do not respond easily here.” The conversation that follows is about a list of things that make this place “difficult,” a “hard place” for the work of the gospel.
It’s true. There are hard places, but not always for the reasons we have in mind. Jesus went to some hard places, and he explained the problem to his disciples.
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:20-21)
In the very place where he had done “most of his mighty works” he had been rejected. Definitely a difficult place!
How about Damascus, where the Apostle Paul had to escape from the city in a basket lowered over the wall? Or how about Jerusalem, where Herod had James put to death by the sword? Difficult place, Jerusalem . . . in those days.
Where, then, are the “easy places?”
Where are the places where people are rushing toward salvation in such great volume that the workers there are overwhelmed. Occasionally we hear of such times and places of the Spirit’s working, but these is not most places and not most times. And most of God’s servants spend a lot of their time in the “difficult places.”
Opportunity in Difficult Places?
What if “difficult place” is entirely the wrong perspective to have? What if it is entirely the opposite of how God would want you to think? Is it possible that “difficult places” are actually your place of opportunity? A place where the Spirit of God is at work in some hearts among the many? A Place where God has “placed” you for His purposes?
What if, from the perspective of faith, you will not allow the word “difficult” to define your ministry?
What if . . . just suppose . . . you made a choice to consider your placea place of opportunity and a place where you ministry will be defined by “faith”? Suppose your every thought were about the opportunity of God and the need to step forward in faith to grasp it?
So, is your place of service a “hard place?” Or a place, time, and opportunity of God?