Opposition means disagreement with something, often by speaking or fighting against it. It is also the action of opposing, resisting someone.
We face oppositions in our ministry, families, places of work, friends, etc. Sometimes, you encounter people who just hate you for nothing, work against you, misunderstand what you do etc.
The truth is that if you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ and a child of God, always understand not many people will truly understand what you do. You must surely face oppositions.
Many will laugh and joke about what you are doing, many will use you as their talking points day in and out, not for any reason but because they do not agree with what you are doing.
Today Jesus tells His apostles “If the world hates you, remember that they have hated me also. Jesus uses the word ” if ” which is a word that shows the possibility of something that might happen.
Jesus says “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you ” and later in chapter 18 of this gospel, Jesus entered into agony.
This shows that Jesus is preparing His disciples for what they will certainly face. They might be thinking like most of us do that Christianity is only about breakthrough, enjoyment, success etc.
To Be A True Disciple of Jesus.
To be a true disciple of Jesus is to be in opposition with evil. It is the readiness to face oppositions and persecutions from every angle even from those you trust.
To be a Christian is the willingness to say no to evil and stand by it. A Christian does not fold his arms and allow evil to reign. It is the willingness to accept the darts people throw at you because you decide to be on the side of the truth.
The true Christian does not play second fiddle with his/her faith. He/she does not allow evil to reign because of the fear of what an Igbo man will call “akpokwasi’ (before they say, I said)
To be a Christian is the readiness to defend the faith at all cost. Many saints and martyrs today did not fold their hands. They were ready to fight the good fight of faith even to the point of sacrificing their lives.
When you do these, always know that they will come to attack you and surely they will fight you. When you face oppositions, do not be disappointed with your God. Rally around Him still. He knows the beginning and knows the end.
John used the Greek word kosmos to refer to the world which essentially means those who live in it. But Jesus sees them as those who lack the true knowledge of God, He says in the gospel “They do not know the One who sent me”.
Therefore, they are those who lack true knowledge about who they worship. They are those who opposed His teaching, those who do not believe in Him.
He says in John 10:26-27, you do not believe in me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me”.
The World as used here refers to those who hate his voice and hardly listen to Him. They are those who oppose the truth of the gospel.
The world here as used here are also those who just go to church but the gospel is yet to find its place in their lives. They are going to church but see it as just mere obligations and even a place to show off their wealth and new clothes.
This is when we are just *O yes* members, but we do not believe what we are doing. It is when we see everything in the church as mechanical and hardly believe in the spiritual.
The world as used here refers to those who fight the truths of the gospel. They are those ruled by their desires than Godly principles.
Hence, they are those who see Christianity as fake, scam, worthless, baseless etc. They pursue worldly possessions, designs, pleasures rather than salvation of souls.
This is when we do not want to hear anything concerning God; when we become enemies of the truth. This is when we are in the world and of the world. The world here also refers also to those full of evil.
They only belong to the church to fulfill religious rites but have their faith in another thing they worship. Their ideas are only influenced by worldly principles. They are those who give you millions of reasons why the evil they perpetuate is good.
As A Disciple of Jesus.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you will meet them among your friends and family, colleagues, government positions, places of work. They are always ready to crush and fight you when you stand along their road.
The key here is that every faithful minister of Christ must surely encounter these types of people. Hence, Jesus tells us that when we meet these types of opposition, do not be downcast.
They should know that their Master Jesus also underwent through this and they must surely encounter them. They should not be discouraged, they should not think God has left them or something strange is happening to them. It is part of their call as children of light.
The Only Way.
Jesus started this discussion In John 15:5, when He says ” I am the true Vine, cut off from Me You can do nothing ” and ended it in John 16:33 when He says ” I have told you these things so that *in me*, you may have peace: in the world, you will have trouble but take heart I have conquered the world”.
Therefore, we shall always rely on Jesus for the strength to undergo every trial in life. We shall always look up to him as our consolation. He said in the gospel “if they hated me, they would hate you also”, “if they persecuted me, they would do the same to you”.
When we face oppositions and persecution of any sort, remember that the Lord you serve also underwent the same. Always look up to Him.
In many families, organizations, ministries and associations, many children of God are undergoing a lot. Sometimes they question where their God is to allow them to pass through these problems.
Always know that persecutions and oppositions will always come, especially if you stand on the truth. Many of those close to you may even use you as a caricature.
In all these, do not lose your faith. His grace and strength will always be there for you. You will encounter them, but you will walk through them. The psalmist says that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in the spirit. Many are the sufferings of the righteous, but the Lord delivers Him from them all ( Psalm 34:18-19).
Therefore, remain close to Jesus. In Jesus, victory is sure. Paul is a true testament to this ( 1 Cor 15:57).
I advise you as Paul says “Therefore my brothers and sisters stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of God. Your labour in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
May God strengthen us and give us the grace to overcome our challenges Amen.