Sick of Religion? Week 6: Devotional Day 4
DAY 4 – Thursday
Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:12; Philippians 1:9
What is your natural response in times of conflict or opposition? Is there anything you need to learn from Jesus’ strategies for sustainable, effective continuation of his mission?
All of us face opposition at some point. When Cara and I were pregnant with our daughter Mercy, some people questioned our plan to give birth at home. “What happens if there is fetal distress?” one of my well-meaning friends in the medical profession asked. Nothing we said seemed to change their minds; they felt we were making a big mistake, and they let us know!
I could give you other examples all day: why did we choose public school over private school? Why did we rent a home for a season in our lives instead of buying? Why did I choose to work mostly in the not-for-profit world?
Following Jesus leads to opposition. The Bible assures us of this. In Matthew 5:11-12, Jesus himself says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
But God uses us in our weakness and the apostle Paul encourages us to stand firm because Jesus will always be with us: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
What conflict or opposition are you experiencing currently? Take it to the Lord in prayer, and share with a trusted friend if you haven’t already done so for further prayer support.