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Opposition is inevitable for Christians

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POSTED: March 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Over the years, I discovered that one of the greatest challenges we face as children of God is facing opposition. Many times those who have been born again feel that being saved ought to eliminate them from the troubles of this world.
Job said, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble."
The good news is that trouble won't last always. In the meantime, we are facing opposition.
As Christians we are being talked about, criticized, abused, misused, misunderstood and much more. The opposition we face sometimes brings pain and the desire to throw in the towel.
I want you to understand that giving up will bring so much joy to our enemy. Satan wants us to give up. That's one of the reasons he opposes us. He's out to kill, steal, and destroy the children of the most high God. He wants to kill your progress. He wants to steal your joy and he wants to destroy your relationship with God. Many times he does that through opposition.
When I think about opposition, I think about Nehemiah. Nehemiah is one who faced opposition as he tried to do a work for the Lord. Nehemiah heard about the walls being torn down in Jerusalem. Understanding the importance of the walls and the condition of his people, he had a desire to do something about it.
Nehemiah left his comfort zone to do a work for the Lord. However, while doing the work, he was met with opposition.
It's discouraging to volunteer to do something for someone and while doing it all you encounter is opposition.
Allow me to share three things we can learn from Nehemiah about facing opposition. First, we need to understand that opposition will come. Anytime you are working for the Lord you will encounter opposition. You should expect it. Jesus said in this life you shall have tribulation. Too many times we feel like the road should be easy, but that is not in the plan. Jesus promised to be with us always, but he did not say that we would not encounter opposition. The good news is that even if we face opposition there is no weapon formed against us that shall prosper. You can prepare for something that you know is coming your way. So prepare for opposition.
Secondly, you have to have confidence in what you are doing. Nehemiah had confidence in the work he was doing for the Lord. He understood that the work was important. He said, "I'm doing a great work, so that I cannot come down." (Nehemiah 6:3) When things are important to you, you do not mind putting forth an effort to get it done or facing opposition while doing it. When you know that you are doing what God wants you to do and that God is pleased with you, you do not mind being talked about, lied on, criticized or mocked. You count it all joy. You work through your opposition.
Lastly, you have to be consistent in your resistance. Nehemiah's enemies did not stop at one attempt to stop his progress. Neither will the devil give up on opposing you. When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, the Bible says the devil went away for a season. There will be periods in your life where you can rest from opposition, but as long as we are in this world, the devil will be back. He is a roaring lion walking to and fro seeking whom he may devour. You have to be consistent in resisting the opposition. Time has a way of wearing you down. When you have been dealing with something for a long time, you have a tendency to get tired of dealing with it. The devil will keep coming after you until he wears you down. Keep resisting. If you resist the devil he will flee from you.
We need to understand that God has promised us eternal life in Him. As we journey toward the promise, opposition will come. You and I have to be determined to be all that God wants us to be. We cannot allow the devil to keep us from reaching our goal. Eyes have not seen nor ears have heard neither has it entered into the hearts of men what God has in store for us. But remember as we face opposition that we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us.

Dr. Alvin Jackson is the pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church on Elim Road and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.
 

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