"A great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me."
1 Cor. 16:9
The Apostle Paul's Christian life was wrought with opposition, pain, and sufferings of all sorts, simply because he dedicated himself to preaching the gospel. He was converted and saved for that purpose. He planted churches in many regions, leaving responsible persons to guide these new believers in the faith. Paul caused quite a stir among religious groups and those in the political arena.
There will always be a price to pay for serving God! The spiritual gift He has imparted to you and I come with a price attached. Any service for the Lord meets with opposition. Each time I receive an opportunity to be a voice for God and His interests, I'm sure to experience opposition of some kind. How much more for those who are preaching the gospel and winning souls for Christ!
Philipians 1:29 says, "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." We are to expect opposition and problems. The Scripture also tells us that all who live godly will suffer persecution. All, not some, and Will, not might. If you and I are living our lives in obedience to God, we can expect opposition, injustice, pain, and suffering. We can add to that, rejection, ostracizing, mocking, hatred, lies, and perhaps even bodily harm. God never keeps His children in the dark concerning the things they should know in advance.
I don't know about you, but I would rather get the heads up on what I could possible go through than to be left in the dark. Does knowing make it any easier? Absolutely not, but when you develop an attachment to God, and your bond with Him is growing stronger and deeper, the fear and trepidation becomes secondary. I think the Apostle Paul experienced that. He was ready to die at any point in time while in ministry work.
Opposition for a Christian comes in different ways and in different forms. Some may be ostracized on their jobs because of their Christianity while others are constantly targeted and plotted against. Any thing that resembles the face of Christ, will eventually bring problems. If you are ever a recipient of ill treatment on the job or anywhere, pray for your enemies and pray for yourself.
The Apostle Paul, in Philipians 1, mentions the wisdom of God. He saw the wisdom of God in his imprisonment. He stood before all sorts of men in the political arena, mentioning over and over again, the gospel of Jesus Christ. He got the opportunity, through being incarcerated, to share his testimony time and time again. It was God's wisdom that had him locked up on house arrest and detained for 2 years. God knew what He was after, and the souls of men He wanted to reach with the gospel.
There will be times when you and I will be placed in certain situations where we feel as if there's an injustice against us, but if we can halt that thought, even for a minute, we just might see it as a opportunity from God. There is something divine in the making, and whatever we're going through, is from the hand of God, with a precise purpose.
We pray for opportunities much of the time, but do we equate with that opportunity, opposition? We get excited when God answers our prayers for that chance to represent Him. We sometimes have grandiose ideas as to how we will go about speaking on God's behalf and the desired response we're expecting from those around us. God will always use you and I when we walk pleasing to Him, but He will also allow us to be the victims of opposition among other things.
Opposition also comes from the Christian community. Not every one will be supportive of the ministry God has given you. There will be times when those whom you least expect, fail to be in your corner, or they turned on you, while influencing others to do the same. Know this; God allowed, God ordained! Keep pressing on and forward with what God told you to do! Don't look to the left nor to the right! Persevere stronger and harder! There is one thing that opposition proves, and it is this; whatever opposes, threatens; and whatever threatens, has to be treated with strong opposition!
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! His grace will be sufficient and the outcome will be God glorifying!