When people hear Godís message about Christ, their reactions to it may be very different. Some people receive that message with great joy. Their reaction also gives joy to the person who spoke Godís message to them.
However, some other people will refuse to accept the message - perhaps even in an angry or nasty manner. Of course, that may greatly upset the person who tried to tell them about Christ. It may even seem like a personal insult. However, such people are not really opposing any person - they are opposing God (compare 1 Samuel 8:7).
Of course, a really sincere servant of God cares deeply about the honour of God. It is much worse to refuse Godís kindness than to insult a person. However, the servant of God must not think too much about his own emotions. Instead, he brings the matter to God in prayer.
So, Paul refers to Isaiahís prayer in Isaiah 53:1. (Paul shows that passage to be a prayer because he begins his translation of it with the word ĎLordí. That is the word that the first Christians used to translate Godís most holy name from the Hebrew language.) God had told Isaiah long before that many people would refuse to accept his message (Isaiah 6:9-10). Paul too was aware of how often people refused to accept his message (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). He had often seen and suffered from peopleís evil reactions to Godís message (2 Corinthians 11:23-26). However, their reaction against Godís message only caused Paul to pray even more strongly for them (9:1-3; 10:1).
There are many other similar prayers in the Bible. Paul will soon refer to Elijahís anxious prayers (11:2-4). Such troubles must not stop our work for God - but they should cause us to pray more.
Next part: How to receive faith (Romans 10:17)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.