When you’re facing opposition
Do you remember the old hit song by Elvis Presley, ‘Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes’? You won’t get too far in life before somebody does that very thing, and steps on your toes. But before you get discouraged and throw in the towel, take another look at the life of Jesus. Though He was perfect in all ways, He was criticised continually. His enemies called Him a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Matthew 11:19 NIV 2011 Edition). They even accused Him of being possessed by a demon (see John 8:48). Yet He never allowed bitterness or discouragement to defeat Him. To Him, every obstacle was an opportunity to demonstrate grace and grit. His heart was broken by those He loved, yet He understood and comforted others. He saw disease as an opportunity to heal those who were sick; hatred as an opportunity to love His enemies; temptation as an opportunity to overcome the carnal impulses we all deal with; and offences as an opportunity to forgive. He went through life turning trials into triumphs – and He’s our example. The Bible says, ‘Consider him who endured such opposition…so…you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Pick up your Bible and reread His teachings. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: ‘You’re familiar with the old written law, “Love your friend,” and its unwritten companion, “Hate your enemy.” I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst…Live generously and graciously towards others’ (Matthew 5:43-48 MSG). That’s how Jesus lived – and that’s how He wants you to live too.