Monday, 29 June 2009

When discouraged facing opposition

It can be easy to become discouraged when facing opposition in our ministry. Here are a couple of things which can help:

Knowing that the opposition we may face in relation to sharing Bible truths means that we are on the right track:
"You will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my [Jesus'] name; but he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved." (Matthew 10:22)
"If they have persecuted me [Jesus], they will persecute you also." (John 15:20)

Jesus and many other faithful ones of Jehovah have suffered far worse than mere harsh words. But when you think of it, what can Man do to us?

"And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Ge·henìna." (Mt. 10:28)
"Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens." (Matthew 5:10-12)

What moves one to share Bible truths? Someone once said, "Preaching merely out of obligation becomes burdensome in time." If our motivation is the natural desire to share the wonderful, life-saving knowledge that we have learned with others, then it doesn't become burdensome at all.  Love for God is a primary reason why we share in the ministry, and truly being like Jesus includes being moved by compassion to preach and teach. (Matthew 22:37-39) Jesus' loving compassion for people was a key motivation for his sharing the good news with them:
"Well, on getting out, he saw a great crowd, but he was moved with pity for them, because they were as sheep without a shepherd. And he started to teach them many things." (Mark 6:34)
"But the crowds, getting to know it, followed him. And he received them kindly and began to speak to them about the kingdom of God, and he healed those needing a cure." (Luke 9:11)
"This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." (John 17:3) 

Here are some scriptures that have helped me with discouragement in the past:

"Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let YOUR petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6,7)
"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight." (Prov. 3:5,6)

"Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, and he himself will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to totter." (Psalm 55:22)
"Those who are hoping in Jehovah will regain power." (Isaiah 40:31)

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