Written by Lisa Pierce
When Opposition Comes
Nehemiah Ch. 4
4 Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of[b] the builders. 6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
Opposition will come. It is not a matter of if, but when. Doing the Lord’s work and rebuilding takes risk and trust. Trust is from the team we build around us. When faced with Tobia and Sanballat’s threats, Nehemiah and his crew began to designate guards and each person now also worked with a tool in one hand and weapon in the other. A rallying trumpet sound would be used for emergencies.
What types of opposition will we face?
1) Insults: As we see from Sanballat and Tobia, we can receive insults meant to weaken us or make us lose sight of our mission. Because Nehemiah and his team had a strong sense of vision about what God wanted to do through them, they maintained their courage and continued building.
2) Discouragement: The opposite of that which gives courage, discouragement is meant to weaken us, to cause us to fear. Like Nehemiah, we can come together as a team, pray, and reshape some of our actions.
3) Abandonment: I am sure Nehemiah was working to prevent the people from becoming so discouraged that they gave up. We see him strategizing in such a way as to add protection and the security of the community. It was going to be easy for the people to abandon the project and give up. Continuing to face Sanballat and Tobia served to encourage the community and help them maintain their passion, mission, and vision for a restored Jerusalem.
As we prepare to serve on March 3, you will most likely face some opposition. Most likely something will compete for your time or possibly expenses. Whatever that opposition, we can use Nehemiah’s example of praying like it depended upon God and working as it depended on him and the team. I hope you will face opposition with grace, determination, and perseverance for we have a great work to do!