What do you do in the face of opposition?

It takes great courage to resist the temptation to compromise.

July 8

I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.


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What do you do in the face of opposition?

Paul is responding to the accusations against him from the religious Jews.  King Agrippa is visiting Governor Festus and Festus asks Agrippa to help him prepare charges against Paul before sending him on to Rome for an audience with the Emperor.  It is God’s plan to send Paul to Rome, but it doesn’t make sense to Festus.  This is very similar to what Pilate went through as Jesus stood before him.  It didn’t make sense to Pilate to execute an innocent man, but that was God’s plan and we should praise Him for doing it.

Paul had believed that it was his responsibility to oppose the followers of Jesus.  He was convinced that he was actually doing God’s work by opposing the Christians and trying to destroy the church.  We can’t know for sure what was going on in his mind at the time but there may have been a great satisfaction for doing the work of God.  That doesn’t make any of it right.  He was actually fighting against God.

As leaders of families, ministries, or churches we are going to come across people like Paul.  They are going to oppose the work that you are doing and believe in their heart they are doing the right thing.  They are going to do everything in their power to remove you or cause your work to stop.  The real question is not what they are doing but what is to be your response to them.

As you study the book of Acts you will find no record of any response to the opposition of Saul, now named Paul.  The only response you might find is fear.  There is no record of the church doing anything else.  They don’t appear to have resisted.  They didn’t send a hitman after him.  They didn’t take him to court and sue him.  There is not even a record that they prayed about what was going on.

So what do we do in the face of this kind of opposition?  The same thing you do when there is no opposition; you are faithful to the work God has given you to do.  God gave you a job to do; you need to keep at it and do as much as you are able.  Because of the opposition of Paul, the church was scattered.  Wherever they were scattered they got back to work doing what they were supposed to do.  Opposition may change your circumstances, but it doesn’t change what God told you to do.  Adapt to the new circumstances and get back to work.

Another thing to keep in mind, God dealt with the opposition of Saul.  The church didn’t have to do anything.  I can imagine they prayed about it.  Prayer is always the right answer.  Ask God to deal with those who oppress you and once you have, leave it in His hands.  After all, He is much better equipped to handle it then you are.  Could you have touched Saul’s life is such a way as to cause him to become Paul?  Only God can change someone in so dramatic a way.  Jesus, help us to leave our oppressors in Your hands and help us to keep at the work You assigned to us.

Daily Bible Reading:
Read: 1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81; Acts 26:1-32; Psalm 6:1-10; Proverbs 18:20-21

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