Opposition = Opportunity

10 December 2018
‘Consider him who endured such opposition.’

The world around us is often ready to test us to our limits. Many of the people that we meet don't share our faith, can't understand it, refuse to listen, and may even take delight in criticising and tearing us down because of it. And that can be extremely difficult to deal with. Jesus faced exactly the same problems while He was working at His ministry. Even though He was perfect, He came up against constant criticism. His enemies called Him a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Matthew 11:19 NIV). They even accused Him of being possessed by a demon (see John 8:48). But He never let discouragement defeat Him. He saw every obstacle and every bit of opposition as an opportunity to demonstrate grace. His heart was broken by those He loved, but He never allowed bitterness to enter it. In His 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 us to live. When we take Jesus as our role model, our perspective should change. We’ll see sickness as an opportunity for healing, hatred as an opportunity to love, temptation as an opportunity to overcome ungodly impulses, and offences against us as an opportunity to forgive. When we allow Jesus to enter our hearts and become our example for living, ‘opposition’ becomes ‘opportunity’.

 

What now?

Think of a negative situation in your life at the moment. How could you use it as an opportunity to demonstrate God's love?

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