February 4, 2020

Overcoming Opposition

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 4, 2020

Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you.  John 15:20 NLT

A big distortion in human thinking is if we have a calling it will be easy, there won’t be obstacles. 

While it’s true that every calling involves being empowered by God, every calling also includes times when we will experience opposition—and that opposition may come from others. 

During these times, it’s important to remember stories of God’s people. 

For example, in John 1, Scripture describes that when John the Baptist was baptizing, he undoubtedly had the LORD’s approval. Jesus said about him, “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” 

Even though John had God’s approval, not everyone was excited about his work. When the Pharisees saw he was baptizing, and they learned he wasn’t the Prophet they were waiting for, Elijah or the Messiah, they asked, “What right do you have to baptize?” (John 1:25). 

They lived by the paradigm that only certain people were qualified to do the work John was doing—and John wasn’t one of them. 

When Nehemiah was working to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall—even though he had God’s help and approval—he faced strong opposition from his enemies, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab (Nehemiah 2:19).

These men had a plan about how things should be done, Nehemiah wasn’t following their plan, and they didn’t like it. 

And finally, in Mark 11:27-28, Jesus’ authority and calling were questioned when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him in the temple and said, “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

These men lived by a particular religious paradigm regarding how things should be done; Jesus wasn’t following their plan, and they didn’t like it. 

Just like John the Baptist, Nehemiah, Jesus, and other biblical saints who faced opposition in their callings, to fulfill God’s plan for your life your confidence must be in who God says you should be, not in who men say you should be. Your desire to please God must be stronger than your desire to please men.   

Expect opposition from others and embrace it as a friend. It can strengthen your resolve and character. Stand strong in your calling and trust that God has you right where you need to be, doing what you need to do, even when others don’t support you, or even when they oppose you. 

“In no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God” (Philippians 1:28).

Prayer

Lord, I praise you that when you have called me, you will equip me, and I don’t need to fear men. Help me to stand strong. Amen.


Application

Consider how opposition has strengthened you. How has it equipped you more greatly for the work God has called you to?


Related Reading

Luke 21:12; Titus 2:7-8; Psalm 20:7; Matthew 5:11-12


Post/Tweet today

Love means your desire to please God is stronger than your desire to please others.   #WisdomHunters #overcomer #truth #Jesus


Worship Resource

4 minute video – Tasha Cobbs Leonard: 


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