Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4
After the people of Judah had been released from full captivity in Persia, they were allowed to go back and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Many were excited to be a part of the building project and began immediately setting the foundation. Immediately the groups of people around Jerusalem set out to discourage the people from continuing to build the temple. They would try to make them afraid to build it.
Any time a person starts to do something new or grand, there are people who try to discourage it. Often the people try to stop it because it sounds crazy or too big to really accomplish. Other times it is out of fear that they try to stop the project.
All the other groups of people in the areas around Judah had heard the stories of the Israelites. They knew that when the Israelites were worshipping God as they were supposed to, things would go in their favor. All the nations around would then suffer, because they did not serve God. This would cause them to rise up in opposition to stop the worship of God.
Times have not changed. Any time you begin to do something for God, there will always be an opposition that will rise up and try to discourage you. The world does not want you to succeed as a believer in Jesus. If you succeed, that means that they have failed. You are a threat to their way of life.
You are to be the light of Jesus in this world. His light shines into the dark lives of people, exposing their sin. No one wants to be exposed, so they will try to stop you. This can happen from outside the church as well as inside the church.
Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and do not give up. Continue to go on building God’s kingdom and doing His work while you can. Although the nations may rage against you, you will not fail, as long as you are doing God’s work in His way and time.
Do not be discouraged at the opposition that will come against you. God is on your side.
I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will do the work of God; that you will not be discouraged; that God will strengthen you to do His work; and that you will continue to build God’s kingdom.