They go together – “A wide door for effective ministry” and “many oppose me.” We expect one or the other, but the example of Paul’s ministry is that they go together.
Opposition often feels like defeat. The mosquito stings of criticism feel like daggers of deceit. The natural fatigue that comes with a “wide door for effective ministry” exacerbates the experience. The tired servant is easily overwhelmed, discouraged. Therein lie the irony and the opportunity. The irony is that effective ministry is painful, at times appears to be failing, and sometimes requires death. Thus, effective ministry is an opportunity for faith.
Faith persists in pain, failure, and even death because it looks to the One whose effective ministry was painful, judged a failure, and completed through death. Ministering in the name of Jesus means accepting the ministry of Jesus. It means choosing to go on in the face of opposition in faith that pain, failure, and even death are redeemable instruments in the hands of the Merciful God.
They go together. “A wide door for effective ministry” and “many oppose me.” Let us embrace both in faith humbly trusting in the “God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).