Posted by: bellissimanh | December 20, 2007

Blackaby’s Thoughts… And Mine

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Opposition!  (Henry Blackaby)

Day-by-Day
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” (Matthew 2:13)Whenever God clearly speaks to you and you obey His will, you can expect to face opposition. Spiritual assaults and attacks by the ungodly are not always signs that you are out of the will of God; they may even indicate that you are in the very center of God’s will. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a righteous man who feared God, yet his obedience to God forced him to flee for his life to a foreign country. Joseph’s hardship came, not because of his sin, but because of his obedience. Although Joseph and Mary were forced to move to another country, they remained in the center of God’s will.

Jesus warned His disciples to expect persecution from the world as they obeyed the Father. He reminded them that they would not face persecution alone, for Jesus, too, had faced the hostility of the world and had been victorious (John 16:33).

Don’t become discouraged when you face opposition. Opposition may indicate that you are acting in obedience to God. Do not let opposition cause you to doubt God’s will. Examine your heart. If you have done what you know He has asked you to do, trust Him to see you through the antagonism that comes from those who are not walking with Him. When they encountered persecution, the disciples did not ask God to remove their opponents, but to give them boldness as they faced opposition (Acts 4:24–31). God’s will for you may involve hardship, as it did for His Son (John 15:20), but He loves you and will not allow you to face more than you are able to handle.

****************************************************************

I remember that not long after Joel and I were married, everything seemed to be going well. Things were so good, in fact, that we worried that maybe we were doing something wrong, because Satan didn’t seem to be concerned with us at all. Not that we were wishing for trials… but because of the principles outlined above, we thought maybe we weren’t enough of a threat to the devil for him to bother with us.

We were married in June. That September, my sister-in-law Janet was involved in a serious car accident. She wasn’t expected to live. We were summoned to the hospital multiple times, thinking that death was certainly near for her. Miraculously, she lived. While she still suffers inconvenient health things now… she is a walking, talking, breathing miracle. Little did we know the Lord would take those hours spent waiting by a bedside in a hospital and use them to prepare us for an even greater challenge down the road.

The week after Christmas, Joel began experiencing chest pain. Eventually Rick convinced him to go get checked out. Within 24 hours he was shipped to Maine Med and had angioplasty done. Talk about a frightening start to the year! The night before his surgery was so tough for me. I remember riding in a cab to a hotel (with no idea if the driver was taking advantage of me and driving circles since I didn’t know Portland at ALL), and then sitting in that hotel by myself, scared to death about Joel’s surgery, missing him, praying that he would be ok. The Lord was faithful to bring him through it with no complications… but for this 29-year-old wife of six months, that was a terrifying evening spent leaning into the Savior and trusting Him. I had no other choice. It was a beautiful time of learning just how deeply I could count on Jesus, the greatest Lover of my soul.

Before the month was out, Jasmine was burned and taken to Shriners. The emotions that enveloped me during those first few weeks made the fears I’d felt that night in Portland seem miniscule. There is nothing worse than knowing that your child is in grave danger and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it other than to pray. I’m convinced of it. Again, God proved Himself faithful in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined prior to that time… and added new depths and dimensions to my relationship with Him that I still grab and cling tightly to when the going gets tough. He is amazing.

All of these things — Janet’s accident, Joel’s heart issues, Jasmine’s fire — happened within the course of less than six months. So much for feeling that we had it easy! As difficult as it was to walk through those different scenarios, we took comfort in knowing that we were doing something right… that Satan was indeed concerned about the impact our family was having on the world around us, and that though he tried every dirty trick in the book to tarnish our testimony and make us doubt our faithful Father and Friend… he did not succeed… and the Lord gets all the credit for that!

Since experiencing those things in my life, and many others since, the following verses have come to mean a great deal to me. I love that God’s Word is alive and breathing… it is constantly taking on new meaning for me as the Lord finds ways to apply it to my run-of-the-mill, ordinary, and yet because of His love and touch on my days, extraordinary life.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith would not fail: and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

What a comfort it is to know that nothing is wasted with the Lord. He uses every challenge, every joy, every tear, every step of obedience, every attack of the enemy, even every failure, to grow me into the woman He has planned for me to be. Nothing is useless. Nothing is trivial. Nothing is insignificant. He uses it all for His purposes and for His glory. I’m so thankful for that!

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Responses

  1. Wow, Heather. Great Blog. I have missed you! WHat a testimony!! You could have just quit God at that point, saying it was too much. Having yourself a little nervous breakdown instead. But you chose the Harder path.To stick around and Trust God remembering that He is still so good. THank you for hanging on through the hard times. When it wasnt comfortable to you.So you could be a walking testimony of Gods faithfulness, and Grace- to me!!! How He kept you and strengthened you. Love, s

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible story of you trials and triumphs! It is such an inspiration for anyone going through a hard time and wondering “why me?”. God Bless You and have a Merry Christmas.
    Melissa H.
    touchofglory.wordpress.com

  3. Nothing is wasted with the Lord – AMEN! What a beautiful conclusion you can cling to and share because of where you have been. What a beautiful testimony of God’s work.

  4. It is such an encouragement that everything happens for a reason and to further His purpose even when it is hard to understand at the time.

    I’ve missed you…hope all is well.

    Merry Christmas!


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