• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Samuel A Cain“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV)

There are times in life when we face opposition. This opposition may consist of personal antagonism or even hostility. People may disagree with us and try to obstruct our plans. They may challenge our character in order to raise disapproval toward us and our motives. Take up God’s cause on any issue and our old adversary, the devil, will raise his head in resistance.

The great English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) experienced this many times in his life. Whitefield sought to honor God even when he was falsely accused by his enemies. On one occasion, Whitefield received a malicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. He replied, “I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me. With love in Christ, George Whitefield.” He offered no defense because he was seeking to please God – not men.

Jesus Christ faced continuous opposition during His ministry on earth. He taught His followers to expect opposition as well. Jesus said:

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19 ESV)

“And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” (Mark 13:12-13 ESV)

The story of Nehemiah is a wonderful example of overcoming opposition. As the people of Jerusalem were rebuilding the wall around their city, outsiders told them to quit because they would never be able to finish. Opposition to completing the wall caused doubt. The work was long and hard and commitment began to diminish. Resistance to finishing the work began to appear. However, Nehemiah’s leadership brought the Jews together to overcome opposition and rebuild the wall. He led by example. In his humility, Nehemiah gave the glory to God for his successes.

Overcoming opposition requires a Christian worldview that recognizes the sovereign control of God over everything that happens. The story in Nehemiah gives us example after example of God’s providential engagement in our lives. God does not call us to do what He does not equip us to do. If we are following God’s call, there will be many times in our lives when we must face opposition through our circumstances and the spiritual forces working behind them. We must always remember that our God is omnipotent and unchanging. “… Pray without ceasing …” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV) He is there to strengthen and comfort us. Therefore, having done all to stand against the opposing schemes of the devil, stand!



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