Overcoming Adversity

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

It must have seemed like an impossible task. Rowland Bingham had been moved by the challenge given by Walter Gowans to reach Africa’s interior with the Gospel, where most people had never heard about Jesus. Nonetheless Bingham accepted the challenge, along with Gowans and Thomas Kent.

Soon after arriving in Africa, Bingham contracted malaria and was sent home to Canada. There, he was to learn that both Gowans and Kent had died, also of malaria.

Author Ruth Tucker describes how Bingham was “devastated” by the news. Looking back, he commented, “My faith was being shaken to the very foundation.” He questioned God, and even doubted the Bible during his struggles.

But he emerged with his faith stronger, committed to carry out the mission to Africa. Reenergized, he threw himself into preparation for the task, taking a medical course and attending Bible school.

Seven years after his friends had died, Bingham returned to Africa, accompanied by two new volunteers. But, when Bingham again contracted malaria, these volunteers returned home. He, too, had to return, now more discouraged than ever. He seemed to be a failure; the mission seemed hopeless.

Finally, in 1901, accompanied by new recruits, he returned to Africa again. This time, his efforts succeeded, and mission stations were established. But the challenges continued. Diseases. Violence.

Loneliness. Rejection. Yet they persisted. And their efforts led to the salvation of thousands of Souls and the founding of a ministry that still exists.

In our lives, when we face obstacles, it can be easy to become discouraged. Even to give up hope. Paul knew what it was to face obstacles. He described facing many “adversaries.” The Greek word here describes various types of opposition. Hostile forces that can provide fierce challenges. As Paul would describe, the key is persistence, faith, and prayer. Fighting in the Spirit. Confident of victory. Trusting God.