Prayer for the day
You are my God, and I will thank you; you are my God and I will exalt you.
Scripture for the day
As we saw yesterday, if we do what is right, we can expect opposition. When we seek to follow Christ, it is likely we will experience hardship or difficulty.
Mordecai faced opposition. Esther faced opposition. And the apostles faced opposition. The fascinating thing about all of these stories, however, is that the opposition largely fails. It may not fail to hurt the one who is opposed, but it fails to bring about its aim, which is to cause the follower to abandon his/her object of focus.
Mordecai was opposed by Haman, a powerful enemy and one who nearly succeeded not only in getting back at Mordecai but in eradicating his entire people! Instead of this eradication, however, God saw fit to ensure that it was not the Jewish people who were eradicated, but Haman.
Haman’s wife speaks of the danger of opposing God: “you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin.” Her speech makes it clear that she knows the power of the God of the Jews, and that opposing this power will not work out very well.
In the Second Testament, Stephen faces opposition from the religious leaders. Their opposition to his message is severe, and their actions are equally severe. Yet their opposition to him has to be created. They have to lie about him because his actions are truly righteous. In the end, the opposition can not stop Stephen. They look at someone who should be cowed, who should be bowed down in humiliation and fear, and instead, they see someone who has a face like that of the angel of God. They see someone who is unafraid of the opposition he faces, and who serves his lord happily until the very end.
May we face opposition, and may it fail mightily!!! Our God will overcome.