How to Face Opposition
Quiet your heart before God today. Allow his peace to settle into your spirit as you meet him in his Word.
Read John 15:26—16:4a
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you,
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat opposition do you face for being a Christian?
The picture of opposition and the world’s hatred in 15:18–25 gets amplified in 16:1–4. Murdering Jesus’ followers will seem like the right thing to do. It will be done in God’s name.
That happened to Jesus’ disciples and the early church. It happens today. Believers around the world in the twenty-first century are facing more persecution and death than ever before. Most of us have not yet faced those extremes. But even a sneer from family or a cold shoulder from friends hurts.
Many of us in the West who have lived comfortably for centuries are increasingly finding ourselves under suspicion for our faith. We’ve had it easy, but persecution is normal. And the warnings from Jesus (1,4) are to reassure us so that we are not taken by surprise and fall away. So what do we do?
No one likes to be hurt. We want to run for cover and hide. But we are to go out to the world that hates us. The Holy Spirit is testifying to the world about Jesus (26), and we simply join him (27). Rather than retreat, we are to love people and move towards them, just as Jesus came to people who hated and persecuted him because he loved them.
List three people who don’t know Jesus, including those who make your life difficult. What is a loving thing you can do for them?
Take time to pray for those three people now. Pray for open hearts and a willingness to serve them.
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