Nehemiah 4:1 Opposition Will Arise

Coastal waves

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, Nehemiah 4:1 

When attempting to do something great, most people will have some enemies. There will be opposition to what is being done.

There will be two main types of enemies that a person can have. One is the type that thinks what is being done is crazy and strives to discourage it. They reject the idea of doing something great. This type of enemy is very common.

The other type of enemy is those who physically strive to stop the work. Stopping can be done by physically harming the person or by sabotaging the work in some manner. Blocks are put up as fast as possible to stop the work from being accomplished.

Nehemiah and the Israelites were working on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat and several others saw this and were very angry about it. They did not want the city rebuilt, so they set out to stop the people.

Opposition to the things of God has not changed over the years. Jesus was opposed by many people when He walked on the earth, and ultimately gave His life because of opposition, though God used that death. The disciples were often imprisoned and tortured for the doing the work of God.

Believers today are often opposed. As believers stand for life, some oppose them saying they are being insensitive to the desires of people. As believers work to build God’s kingdom, the enemy tries to stop them in many ways. Rules are put in place against believers, false reports are given, and in many places their lives are threatened.

Sometimes this opposition even occurs inside the church. People do not like to change and want to stay in their old ways.

Know that as soon as you begin to do God’s work, the enemy will rise up to attempt to stop you. You will be ridiculed and held back at times. Hold fast to God and continue to do His work. Even Jesus was opposed, so you are in good company.

God can give you the wisdom and strength to keep going forward in the face of the opposition. Working for God and doing His mission is an eternal perspective, not the temporal view the world has. Don’t give in to the opposition, but do God’s work.

I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that God will give you favor and strength to do His work; that God will remove fear of the enemy; and that God will protect you from the strikes of the enemy.

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.

Acts 18:6 When Rejected, Move On

Walking Away

But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:6

Paul had went to the city of Corinth and was preaching the Gospel message there. He was trying to reach the Jews for Jesus. Many of the Jews opposed him and became abusive. Instead of fighting them, he shook off his clothes and moved on to another group of people.

It is very common for someone who is trying to change the mindset of a group of people to be opposed. People do not like to be told that their way of thinking is wrong and most people do not like change.

While most people do not get abusive when being presented a new way of thinking and acting, there are some who do. It is difficult for people to change traditional ways of acting or thinking.

A believer who is working on fulfilling the great commandment to tell others about Jesus, will eventually meet up with people who will oppose him. And sometimes that opposition will get abusive.

For the believer, this opposition can not only appear with those outside the church, there are some inside the church who will oppose him for what God is leading him to say and do. Just as it is in the world, it can happen in the church. People in the church will become abusive in defending their beliefs or actions.

Instead of fighting back or becoming abusive, the believer needs to shake off his clothes and move on to another person or group. Do not fight as the world does and become abusive. Do not be demanding. In these types of actions, there is no love.

If you have not faced this yet, there will come a day when it will happen if you follow God with all of your heart. People will oppose you and become abusive. Do not let it worry or get you angry. Move on to someone else. Keep doing what God wants you to do.

Allow God to work in the hearts and minds of the people. Make sure that you are doing what God wants you to do. It may be rough, but it will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will give you strength and wisdom to do His will; that God will give you favor with the people; and that God will guide you when to move on to other groups of people. 

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.

Hebrews 12:3 Don’t Grow Weary

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3

Every believer has times of challenges. Many of those challenges cannot be linked to a single person, but are just the challenges of life. Some of these challenges are vehicle break-downs, bills due, sickness and injuries. These are difficulties that cannot be blamed on a single person.

The other types of challenges that believers will face is opposition of non-believers. These can come in a very wide variety of ways. Although not common in America, it can come in direct violence to a person. A non-believer physically harms a believer for what they believe in.

The more common way is in words and side actions. It is very common to hear someone make derogatory remarks about someone who believes in Jesus. Watch television or movies and see how often Christians are made fun of and cut down for what they believe.

Another way that can happen but is hard to directly see or prove is overlooking a promotion at a work place. There are non-believing bosses who take actions against a believer because of his belief.

This can also happen in other areas where the believer is over-looked for something or dismissed because of his beliefs. In public meetings, there have been times where a believer is totally dismissed just because of their belief.

Regardless of how the attacks come it can hurt a person. You will feel the pain. At times these attacks will be one right after the other, wearing you down. The author of Hebrews states that you must think about Jesus and what He went through.

Jesus was accused of following the devil, breaking the Sabbath, and even blasphemy. None of these things were true. In the end, He had to suffer the pain of being crucified for something He did not do. Yet, through it all Jesus remained faithful to God and trusted in Him.

Keep Jesus in mind while you are going through attacks. If He can hang in there through what He went through and did not give up. Do not grow weary or lose heart. God can and will give you the strength to keep going if you keep your eyes and faith on Him.

I pray today that God will strengthen you in all challenges you face; that you will not grow weary of following Jesus; that you will not lose heart in the promises God has made; and that you will be a witness for Jesus in everything.