Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Happen

Fire and water

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4 

Doing something great will often have some great challenges to make happen. Beyond just the challenges of knowing how to do something great is the opposition that can occur.

Men and woman who are striving to do something great are often told that they are crazy and should not try to do it. The reason they are told that they are crazy and shouldn’t do it is for several reasons. Sometimes it is so different that others think it cannot really be done, and one should not waste it time trying. Other times it is out of fear of it actually working and getting done.

The Israelites had been put into captivity in Persia, yet, were given direct permission from the king of Persia to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple to God. As they had begun to do the work, the people around them worked hard to stop them. They tried to discourage them from finishing the work that they had started to do.

Fear of Christians accomplishing something is still around to this day. The world is an enemy to Jesus and does not want Him or His followers to ever accomplish anything. The thing that believers do is following and obeying God. They are working to build God’s kingdom here on this earth.

Any time a believer is doing God’s will, Satan and this world will rise up in opposition. He does not want the believer to be successful, because it means it will be his downfall. The world does not want it, because they can feel God’s judgement upon their lives in seeing the lives of believers.

God has or will call you to do something for His kingdom. It may be building a new temple or it may just be a simple thing of telling someone about Jesus. Either way it is doing something for Him.

As soon as you begin to do what God has asked of you, the world will begin to attempt to discourage you and stop you. They may say it is a waste of time and that it won’t work with just words. Or they may be physically violent against you.

Do not be surprised. There was opposition to the Israelites and against Jesus. You will receive opposition. Stay true to God and do what He has given you to do. Don’t be discouraged, God is with you.

I pray today that you will know the mission God has for you; that you will not be discouraged; that you will stay true to God; that God will give you strength to do His work; and that you be His witness.

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Exodus 6:9 Discouragement Overcomes

discouragement

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. Exodus 6:9

Discouragement occurs when things go bad on a consistent basis and don’t ever seem to get better. People try and try to change the situation, but it does not change. If it keeps up long enough, people get discouraged and want to quit. They cannot believe in the possibility of things getting better. They begin to expect hardship and turmoil.

It is difficult to encourage someone who is discouraged. All the person can see is the mountain and trouble in front of their eyes. His eyes are blinded to the truth or any change than can occur.

The Israelites had been under slavery for 400 hundred years. All they, their parents, their grand-parents and great grand-parents have ever known is slavery. They had been crying out to God for a rescue. When God began to answer, the enemy doubled down on the fight to hold them.

Through Moses, God told them that He would release them. Yet, they would not listen to that word, because they were discouraged. Everything was going from bad to worse. How could anything get better? It appeared that God and Moses had made things worse. They were discouraged.

Many people in this world and some believers have this type of view on life. They cannot see beyond the troubles that are in front of them. They allow discouragement to overcome in their lives and keep them down, rather than allowing God to come in and strengthen them and release them from the hands of the enemy.

The enemy will not release a person quickly or easily. The world does not want to lose anyone to God. So the world will fight back. Satan will double up on holding a believer or non-believer down.

There may be times you attempt to encourage someone who is discouraged and being beaten down or you may be in that place yourself. Look up to God and trust His word to you. God has great plans for you.

No matter what the world can throw at you, God will win in the end. In the end you will be brought into the promised land–heaven for all eternity with God.

Do not allow yourself to get discouraged and stop hearing God’s word for your life. Do not let discouragement win, but let God’s word in your life win.

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that God will remove discouragement from your life; that you will allow God to pull you through the troubles of this life; and that you will live in victory through Jesus and God’s Holy Spirit.

Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Come

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.

2 Chronicles 32:7 A Greater Power

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.” 2 Chronicles 32:7

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem and was ready to destroy the city. He ridiculed God and made Him the same as other foreign gods. Hezekiah told the people to not be afraid because there was a greater power with them, than with Sennacherib. He put his trust in God and went to Him for help. In the end, God sends an angel, who goes into the Assyrian camp and kills everyone in the army.

The world works in a power that seems very powerful and great. It appears that those in the world can have absolute control. In some countries, the leader runs the country as an absolute dictator with full control. Although America is not run under a dictatorship, there are people in it who run some people as though they have absolute power.

A police officer is just a person just like everyone else. In himself he has no real power or authority. Yet, when he pulls a person over for speeding or arrests someone for a theft, he has a lot of power and authority. That power comes from the city or state government, not from himself. He has been given authority to overcome others as needed.

People in the world try to make Christians feel as though they do not have any real power. Satan tries his best to threaten and intimidate believers into fear.

However, as a believer, you have a power that is greater than any power in this world. When God is on your side and in you, you have a greater power than anything Satan can set against you. God’s Holy Spirit resides in you and is more powerful than anything the world can use against you.

Do not let the threats and cares of this world discourage you or make you afraid. God is with you. He made this world and He is the only one who has absolute control. Trust God today.

I pray today that you will know that God is in control; that you will trust God’s power in your life; that you will not fear the attacks of this world; and that you will seek God for every situation in your life.

2 Chronicles 20:17 It Is God’s Battle

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17

While Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, the Moabites and Ammonites got together to fight against Judah. It was such a large army coming against them, that Jehoshaphat knew they could not fight them. He and all of Judah cried out to God. They gave Him praise for being in control and asked for His help. God’s Spirit came on Jahaziel, and told the people to not be afraid and that they will not have to fight the battle. All they had to do was go out and stand their ground and God would fight the battle.

As a person goes through life, many battles come up. The enemy rises up before him to scare and destroy him. Those in the world, get scared and try to run, or go to others for help. Fear sets in and paralyzes most people. They really do not know what to do.

As a believer, your first action should be like that of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah, you should go to God for help. Notice that when they went before God, their first words were not help, but they gave praise to God for who He is and what He has already done for them.

When you give God praise and trust Him for who He is and what He has already done, His words are always going to be for you not to be afraid or discouraged, it is His battle. God will guide you in what you are to do. Paul wrote that after putting on the armor of God for battle you are to stand.

Let go of trying to do everything yourself, and trust God to do it through you and for you.

If you are serving God with all of your heart and trusting Him, God will take care of you in the best way possible for you. It may not go exactly as you desire, but it will be done in God’s way and time. Let God take control and win the battles in your life.

I pray today that you will give God praise for all that He has done and who He is; that you will trust God’s word for your life; that you will not fear the battles against you; and that you will let God fight your battles.

Joshua 1:9 Don’t Be Afraid Or Discouraged

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Moses had died and Joshua was now the leader of the Israelites. He was the one to lead them across the Jordan river into the land of Canaan. It was not going to be a simple and easy task to do, with over a million people. Yet, God commands him to be strong and courageous because He will be with him.

Fear is an extremely common factor in many people’s lives. It is common for people to fear something. They fear losing a job, a sickness, death, ridicule, persecution, and many other things.

The other thing most people have is discouragement. Things did not go as planned and so they are discouraged. Often people try something over and over, and keep failing. After a time of trying, they start to get discouraged, thinking that they will never be able to accomplish the required task.

As Joshua was leading the people into the land of Canaan, there would be many challenges and setbacks. Many battles would be won, while some would be lost. The challenge of getting across the Jordan River would be faced. The failure of the people or individuals would create problems. It would be easy to get discouraged and start to fear that God’s plan would never happen.

In your life, there has most likely been some serious challenges. In some of those, there has most likely been some failures. It would be easy to start to fear and be discouraged.

Yet, God is with you. As He commanded Joshua to not be afraid or discouraged and to be courageous, God is saying the same things to you today. Jesus said that He would be with you and that He has given you all authority and power. Jesus said to not be afraid.

What are you fearing? God knows what is best for you.

Why are you discouraged? God has plans for you and He is in control.

Are you trusting God’s plans for your life?

Or do you trust your own plans and get discouraged when they don’t work?

I pray today that you will know the plans God has for you; that you will trust God in your life; that God’s love will remove all fear; that you will not be discouraged when God changes your plans; and that God will use you to do great things.

1 Peter 1:6 Rejoice

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1 Peter 1:6

What is all this that Peter is saying you greatly rejoice? It the salvation that God has provided through Jesus Christ. Just previous to this verse he talks about how God has given us new birth into a living hope with an inheritance that can never be destroyed.

Think a little about what you have now. A new birth is a new life. In the old life there was troubles with no hope. There was no meaning to life. Now you have meaning in life.

Now you also have an inheritance that cannot perish, spoil or fade. Many people have set millions of dollars aside in retirement accounts thinking they will have money for themselves and their children. Suddenly the economy crashes and millions of dollars are lost in a matter of minutes.

The inheritance that God gives you cannot be lost or destroyed. The only way it can be lost is if you give it up and turn away from it. God will never take it from you. The devil cannot steal it from you. Only you can give it up by refusing to accept what God has given you through Jesus. All you have to do is have faith in Jesus. Believe that God will do what He said He would do for you.

Every time you are going through a trial in life you must remember this bit of information: this inheritance that you have been given; the eternal life that you will have some day; the perfect life in heaven you will have some day. The inheritance of this world always depends on what you or others do or do not do. It is temporary and can be lost quickly.

Today when things in life are going against you remember what you have coming. The problems in this life are only temporary, your inheritance is eternal. Do not be discouraged. Remember that God is in control. God will win in the end. If you stay with God till the end you also will win with Him.

I pray that today God will give you His encouragement; that you will see the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the inheritance God has for you; that you will see the life He has given you; and that you will stay strong in the Lord through every trial of life.