by Taylor DiPaola.
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So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me.” – John 7:16
God made it clear I was to quit. When I told my teammates that I had decided to leave my sport to attend a Christian college, most of them accepted it—except for one. Thinking I was being foolish, he opposed my decision, and he searched the Internet for reasons why I shouldn’t attend there.
A week later, he confronted me. He had a list of accusations against the college and wouldn’t stop telling me I shouldn’t go. Regardless of what he said, something more important made me keep my decision: I knew God wanted me to attend that college.
While my friendship with that teammate suffered, I have never regretted following God’s plan for my college education.
In John 7, we see Jesus also face opposition for following God’s plan.
The Festival of Tabernacles was coming up, but instead of focusing on the point of the festival—to remember how God lead the Israelites through the wilderness (Leviticus 23:34-43)—Jesus’ half-brothers tried to convince Jesus to show off His power so that He could gain popularity.
As John 7:5 explains, “Even his brothers didn’t believe in him.” They didn’t believe that He was the Messiah whose coming had been prophesied since the beginning of history in Genesis 3:15. They didn’t realize that He was the Son of God. They didn’t understand that He had come to sacrifice Himself for everyone, including them.
The Jews also didn’t understand.
The Jewish leaders saw Jesus as a threat instead of as their Savior, and they looked for chances to kill Him at the festival. Meanwhile, the Jewish people listened to Jesus teach in the Temple, but soon they turned against Him, calling Him “demon possessed” (John 7:20).
However, Jesus didn’t allow the words of His half-brothers or the Jews to stop Him from following God’s plan. He knew that He would face opposition in doing God’s work. To His half-brothers, He said, “The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil” (John 7:7).
We as believers will also face opposition when following God and His plan for our lives. Though we face opposition, Jesus sees us and remembers what we go through. The Psalmist wrote, “I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul” (Psalm 31:7). Jesus loves us and cares for us like a mother would her children, and He is with us every step of the way.
Following God’s plan for our lives will not always be easy, but Jesus, our precious Savior, will always lead and comfort us through whatever we face. We only need to stay focused on Him and the next step He wants us to take.
1. When you face opposition for following God, do you go to Jesus for strength to overcome it?
2. If you know another believer is facing opposition, do you support her through Godly encouragement or prayer?
Dear God, thank You for facing opposition to fulfill Your plan to save humanity. Please give me the strength to follow You despite what others say, and help me support other believers who are facing opposition. You are my Savior, and I trust You through all things. I love You. In Your name, Amen.
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