Opposition is defined as resistance in action such as hostility, rejection, criticism, or disapproval. In 2 Timothy 3:11, Paul writes a letter to Timothy about persecutions and afflictions he [Paul] endured. Paul wrote, “But out of them all the Lord delivered me”. If anyone in the bible would know about opposition it is this man, Paul, who suffered great opposition. Paul had been imprisoned, shipwrecked, and even bitten by a snake. He knew what it meant to be near death and live to tell the story.
In the next verse 12, Paul says that “all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”…and that we “must endure” it (2 Timothy 4:3). To endure means to suffer patiently or persevere. In my walk with the Lord, the more that I surrendered my life and desires to do His will, the more opposition I had faced. The closer I wanted to get to the Lord, I received negative after negative report. I could get discouraged but thank God for His Holy Spirit who comforts us. Rather than falling victim to the negative reports, I have decided to persevere even when circumstances around me do not change. I have faith in God that He will do something even better than what I am asking Him for.
Let’s say you have opposition in your body and you need healing. Healing can be instant or progressive (happens gradually). If it is taking time for your healing to come, please endure and don’t give up! Remind yourself that sickness is not from God–period. Why would He send sickness if He suffered persecution and hung on a cross for yours and my healing? Jesus is a healer who gives life and life abundant. It is easier to endure hardship when you believe the truth of God’s Word versus your own knowledge and understanding.
When opposition comes, take control of those feelings that you know inhibit your faith such as anxiety and doubt. It takes practice but it’s not impossible to take hold of the peace and patience you need to endure it. It may take days, months, maybe years before you will see the change you want. You don’t want to exhaust all your physical and spiritual energy getting frustrated and tired in Round 1 or 2 when there’s still 8 more Rounds to go.
I wrote this blog to help someone and I pray this will help you. Here are some of the ways I learned to persevere when opposition comes:
- Renew your mind daily with the Word of God.
- Celebrate what you can do and leave the rest up to God.
- Trust that God has your best interest at heart.
- Believe this difficult season is only a chapter of your life story (in other words, this is not the end).
- Avoid replaying your past failures or mistakes in your mind to make sense of what you’re going through.
- Fight the good fight of faith.
- Stay focused on your purpose.
Paul also tells us that when opposition comes (and it will come), we must endure hardness, “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). This scripture stirs up my faith because it reminds me that I am not just anybody. I am a soldier. In battle, a soldier must know who’s side she’s on and who she is fighting against. She has no time to worry about matters of civilian life except her mission she must achieve.
You and I are soldiers of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, our Commander & Chief, won the battle over 2,000 years ago when He was nailed to the Cross at Calvary. He shed His blood for your peace, your health, and broke every chain of bondage that could entangle you past, present, and future. Don’t lose your focus because of the opposition that is in your life right now. There will be many battles in this life but the Lord will deliver you out of them all. And like Paul, you will live to tell your story.