“Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!” (Ezra 1:3, NLT)
It is a wonderful thing when God opens up a new door of opportunity. I will never forget when Cindy and I, along with our two children, packed up all our belongings to move from California to Idaho. We were filled with enthusiasm about the city of Boise and about starting a new church. Everything seemed so easy because of the joy God had put in our hearts. It was a new beginning in a land of boundless opportunity! God had opened a door for us and made it clear that He wanted us to walk through it. Now the real work began.
This is how it was for the Jews who had been in captivity in Babylon for seventy years. When they first arrived, they wept for what they had left behind. They knew all this trouble had come down upon their heads because they had disobeyed the LORD and gone after the idols of the nations. Then when news reached them that Jerusalem and their temple was destroyed it seemed as though all hope was lost. But if they had been paying attention to the prophet Jeremiah, then they would have known that their stay in Babylon was only temporary. God would bring them back into the Promised Land in His time.
Now God did the miraculous. He moved on King Cyrus of Persia to issue a decree so that everyone who was willing could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. God had sovereignly opened a door and was now providing the resources to make it possible.
Jesus also opens new doors of opportunity. He said to the church of Philadelphia:
“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” (Revelation 3:8, NIV)
The apostle Paul wrote about a door of service that had opened to him in Ephesus:
“For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Corinthians 16:8–9, NKJV)
When God opens a door to you, does that mean there will be no difficulties? Hardly! The exiles returning to Jerusalem would encounter much difficulty and opposition, as we will see in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. When we moved to Boise, those first few years were very hard and at times discouraging. But everyone who perseveres in God’s opportunities will always be blessed in God’s time.
Is God setting before you an open door? Is He giving you an opportunity for a new beginning? Then what are you waiting for? Take the next step!