Summary: The message deals with facing and overcoming opposition in our life and in the church.
Overcoming Opposition - Part 1
About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.
In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries. (Lynn Anderson)
When God’s people begin doing God’s will, in God’s way, there will be opposition. All you need do is read the great stories of victory in scripture and you will notice how many encountered opposition. The Lord Jesus Christ was constantly harassed and threatened by the people He came to deliver. If He experienced opposition then we surely will when we begin His work.
We are beginning the year with great victories, people are coming to receive the Lord, lives are being changed, the church is beginning to move on the vision God has given us, and yes, there has been opposition.
We have had our beloved church members in the hospital each week and others have been very ill. Since the beginning of the year we have had twenty of our members encounter major health issues. Most were hospitalized for at least a day. We have encountered fatigue. We even have some who have ridiculed our endeavors. We’ve had opposition.
We have the promise from our Lord telling us that not even the gates of hell shall prevail against His church. So, how do we overcome the obstacles and opposition we are sure to encounter?
The Israelites were building the wall. God had given Nehemiah a burden and mission. God had delivered everything to them so they could accomplish the task before them, rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. He had enlisted the workers and they were all ready to begin. It was going to be smooth sailing, NOT. As soon as we finish the "role call" of workers in chapter 3, the obstacles and opposition began all over again.
Mocking & Ridicule
When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” v. 1-2
Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!” v.4