YOU SHOULD ALWAYS EXPECT THIS!
We learn yesterday that once the Israelites had settled back in The Promised Land, they began to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. This rebuilding was bound to take a long period of time considering that the city was completely destroyed and burned by King Nebuchadnezzar. But this rebuilding was not an easy job because no one else except for the Israelites wanted to see the city of Jerusalem rebuild. This was once a city that was fortified and no one could penetrate her defenses. So in addition to the long duration of time it would take to rebuild, there was also the opposition they had to endure and fight at the same time.
When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” Ezra 4:1-2
When opposition was not presence, there was discouragement.
Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:4-5
At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Ezra 4:6
And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language. Ezra 4:7
At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” They also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” Ezra 5:3-4
- Anytime you set up to do something for the Lord, there is always an opposition; something or someone who will discourage you. This seems to be the trend and must always be expected. Any believer who enters into a ministry or serves at his or her church must expect to face either a discouragement or opposition.
- While we might face the same in other professions, there is a spiritual warfare that is involve in the Christian life that makes this an ever-present reality. Since the fall of Satan from heaven, he has never stopped opposing God. This is why every time you attempt to do something for the Lord, you will face an opposition or discouragement. You must remember Satan is always the source of these.
- What are the sources of opposition?
- Other believers fighting for the same position
- What are the sources of discouragements?
- Those whom you are suppose to be serving
- Other believers who have served in the same position
- When Jesus Christ came to this world, He had a mission to fulfill. But he faced discouragements, and opposition. Can you name at least three of each? Here are a few to get you going:
- His home village did not believe in Him
- The religious leaders oppose His teaching
- His disciples were a source of discouragements: can you name a few of these instances?
- Are you facing any discouragement today? Is this related to ministry? Just remember this is expected. Do not run away. Satan will rejoice if you run away. But if you persist, he will give up and leave you alone. When this happens to you, you need to always say this, “Satan you are a liar”.
- But if you are facing any opposition today, remember, you must be doing something right. And this is expected. In fact, if you as a Christians you are not facing any opposition, then you need to check yourself, you might be on the other side of the battlefield.
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently,
Been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones,
Three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
I have been constantly on the move.
I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits,
In danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles;
In danger in the city, in danger in the country,
In danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep;
I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food;
I have been cold and naked.
2 Corinthians 11:23b-27
Now you know why
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS EXPECT THIS!
Read: Ezra 3:1-6:12
Pastor Shadrack Rutofirstname.lastname@example.org