Opening That Stubborn Pickle Jar

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. Acts 19:8-10

It’s well known that Paul faced opposition wherever he went. For many people, such opposition would be discouraging. You pour out your heart, and people are still unconvinced of the truth. There’s no way around that.

Missionaries in foreign lands, and especially in “closed” countries face this type of opposition regularly. Often they have to remain low key in order to stay in the country. When they begin to see a harvest of converts, both missionaries and Believers must remain “under the radar” so they do not attract the attention of government officials.

These missionaries face discouragement daily. They don’t see the fruit of their labors but it’s like opening a spaghetti or pickle jar. You twist and twist, but the manufacturers made sure it was very tight. You work at it, run hot water over it, tap it with something but still nothing. It won’t budge. Then you hand it someone else to help you with it. What happens? They open it on the first try.

Missionary work in closed countries is like that. No fruit despite countless hours of ministry and work. Still nothing. That family leaves the field, and another takes their place. Then the harvest begins.

Continue to pray for workers from around the world to be raised up to go to the unreached peoples of the world. Pray also that those serving in the difficult fields will find encouragement daily as they live their lives for Christ.

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I am a devotions writer and have been writing this devotional consistently for more than six years.

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