The gospel would spread more quickly around the world if all the obstacles were removed; and this should be their constant prayer.
FOR THE WORD TO BE GLORIFIED
As it is with you. It is evident that Paul met with some obstacles in preaching the gospel on his missionary journeys.
Anatoli Shcharansky, a dissident Soviet Jew, kissed his wife goodbye as she left Russia for freedom in Israel. His parting words to her were, “I’ll see you soon in Jerusalem.” But Anatoli was detained and finally imprisoned. Their reunion in Jerusalem would not only be postponed, it might never occur. During long years in Russian prisons and work camps Anatoli was stripped of his personal belongings. His only possession was a miniature copy of the Psalms. Once during his imprisonment, his refusal to release the book to the authorities cost him 130 days in solitary confinement. Finally, twelve years after parting with his wife, he was offered freedom. In February 1986, as the world watched, Shcharansky was allowed to walk away from Russian guards toward those who would take him to Jerusalem. But in the final moments of captivity, the guards tried again to confiscate the Psalms book. Anatoli threw himself face down in the snow and refused to walk on to freedom without it. Those words had kept him alive during imprisonment. He would not go on to freedom without them. Discipleship Journal, Issue # 43 (1988), p. 24.
It is said that when the famous missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, started his trek across Africa he had 73 books in 3 packs, weighing 180 pounds. After the party had gone 300 miles, Livingstone was obliged to throw away some of the books because of the fatigue of those carrying his baggage. As he continued on his journey his library grew less and less, until he had but one book left–his Bible. Today in the Word, April 1989, p. 28.
Let me say in closing that many do not believe the gospel, and no wonder if they show hatred in their attempt to oppose it. The evil of sin is the greatest evil, but there are other evils we need to be protected from, and we are encouraged to depend upon the grace of God.
It is our sin that leads to misery and then we place our affections upon wrong things; which means that there is not a true love for God, and faith in Jesus Christ is without hope or patience.
If by the grace of God we have been given enough faith then we ought to earnestly pray that God will enable us to love and obey God and His commands while patiently waiting for Christ’s return.
Also, if by the special grace of God, we have that faith which many do not have, we should earnestly pray that we might be enabled, without hesitation to love God, and practice the patience of Christ.