Have you ever started a project or a goal and then felt some kind of opposition? Have you started a diet on Monday only to get to work and have a coworker bring in donuts for the whole office just to be "nice"? Did you ever tell someone about a project you were working on and the person dismissed it as just a dream that will never be realized? Well it happens to me a lot. Opposition is surely to come to all of us because that's just how life works sometimes. Even when we believe that our plans are great, something or someone goes against it. This leaves us rethinking whether what we are trying to do is even worth it or a good idea.
Just the other day in my daily bible study, I was reading chapter 4 of Nehemiah and it was talking about the opposition the people of Israel underwent for attempting to rebuild the surrounding wall to their city Jerusalem that had lain in ruin for nearly 150 years. You see, Nehemiah was called by God to set out and rebuild the wall but he couldn't do it alone. He went out and talked to the city officials and recruited the people to come alongside him to rebuild it. Once they went out and began working on it, surrounding city officials were intimidated by what they saw the people of Jerusalem doing and they started to oppose their efforts. They began to scoff them for trying to undergo such an arduous task and threatened their lives. Consequently, the people started to become weary in light of the antagonism and became discouraged. When Nehemiah saw what was happening to the people because of the negativity, he had everyone pray and set into motion a new plan to continue forward. They armed themselves with prayer and physical weapons to protect themselves from further attack and went back to work to ensure they completed what they set out to do.
Sometimes we face opposition in our lives because we try to make positive changes. When we set out to better ourselves, some people around us may become threatened because they feel guilty that they aren't doing the same for themselves and then want to push you down to feel better about themselves. We then need to resolve to continue forward and not let the opinion of "scoffers" mean more to us than what God's calling us to do. When discouragement and weariness starts to take precedence in our lives because of opposition we need to pray, regroup, and set into motion a new plan to prevent more discouragement. So not only do we need to continue forward, we must also arm ourselves to fight against discouragement. Faith in God shouldn't blind us to the reality that discouragement will indeed try to invade our thinking and derail us from our goals. Therefore, prayer along with action must go hand in hand to arm us while we work diligently and move forward in the face of opposition.