This section of Scripture shows how you can be doing good and even bearing fruit yet hit hard times. The disciples went from being used by God to mightily spread the Word of the Lord through the whole region to experiencing persecution and rejection. They went from praise and success to failure and rebuff. The disciples faced a critical juncture in their ministry. Would they let this rejection and failure define the ministry or would they go on – and on to Iconium they went! They stepped through God’s open door to find joy and a greater filling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught an important spiritual principle that is often overlooked because we get focused on the project, organization, and job rather than the person and vision of Christ. Jesus taught this principle in Luke 10:6 when He said, “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.” (NIV) The gospel will be received by those whose hearts are disposed toward God, truth, or understanding, but if they are inclined toward evil, disharmony, and denial then your words will be of no avail. Instead of letting these people consume your thoughts and efforts, ask God where He would have you go. If your heart is on God’s kingdom, you will see a mission field that is ripe for God’s work. The disciples did not get distracted, but moved on allowing God to further use them. Hard times, rejection of Christ in you, or rejection of the message of Christ can mean a closed door now; it can also mean an open door in the future for God to bring greater joy and a richer filling of the Holy Spirit as He redeems that opportunity for His kingdom.
Psalm 18:32-33 “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.” (NIV)