The Opposition Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11


“Pressed and stressed” Following Jesus has always been challenging. Jesus was persecuted, and so will we be. But Jesus will be with us, we don’t retaliate. Persecution will deepen our faith and strengthen our witness.

The Opposition Choice

God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God: the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs! You will be blessed WHEN people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  
Matthew 5:10-12

Anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others. II Timothy 3:12

Persecution is real.
Here we do not face violent persecution, but pressure to repress, conform, and be silent.

The Truth about Opposition: 

1. Opposition can make me more like Jesus.

When the world hates you, remember it hated me first. The world would love you IF you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you out of the world. That’s why the world will hate you. No servant is ever greater than his master. So, since they persecuted me, they will persecute you too. 
John 15:18-20

If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. 
I Peter 4:14

2. Opposition can deepen my faith.

These troubles will prove that your faith is genuine. Just as gold is purified by fire and heat, so your faith, which is far more precious than gold, must also be purified by fire so it may endure. Then you’ll receive praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 
I Peter 1:7 

3.  Opposition can lead to eternal rewards.

God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God: the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs! You will be blessed WHEN people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  
Matthew 5:10-12

When you face opposition:

1. Don’t be surprised.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked when you go through painful trials that are like walking through fire, as though something unusual is happening to you.
I Peter 4:12

2. Don’tbe afraid.

If you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it, so don’t be afraid and don’t worry!  Instead, worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
I Peter 3:14-15

3. Don’t be ashamed. 

It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Instead, thank God for the privilege of being called by his name!
I Peter 4:16 (NLT)

Take a firm stand against Satan and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
I Peter 5:9

Remember, it is better to suffer for doing God’s will than to suffer for doing evil. 
I Peter 3:17

4. Recognize the source.           

We’re not fighting against human beings, but against wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly realm… Ephesians 6:12

Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble. God’s servants must never quarrel.  (Instead)be kind to everyone…and be patient. Be humble when you correctpeople who oppose you…they’ve been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape. 
II Timothy 2:23-26

5.  Refuse to retaliate. 

Never pay back evil with more evil…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. And never avenge yourself. Leave that to God, who has said, “I’ll be the judge and I’ll take care of it.”
Romans 12:17-19

Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good
I Peter 4:19 

6. Respond with Blessing.. 

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. 
Romans 12:21

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. bless those who curse you. pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. 
Luke 6:27b-29a (NLT)

BOTTOM LINE: Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world.”

NEXT STEPS:
1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) Refuse to retaliate or take vengeance with words or actions.
3) Respond with blessing.