Angel started her job in July. She looked forward to the opportunity to share Christ with her new coworkers and to utilizing her cooking skills in the popular restaurant on the busy street of MG. A month later, she fought back tears—work was not going as she had expected. When the other girls on her shift learned she was a Christian, many were curious and began to ask her questions, but not Varuni, a tall, woman from Pune. She let Angel know in no uncertain terms that she did not care for Jesus chatter.
Varuni complained to the manager that Angel was trying to convert them to Christianity. He forbade her from discussing religion in the restaurant. One day Varuni accidentally knocked over a stack of plates near Angel. As the plates crashed to the floor and broke, Varuni blamed Angel. Angel did not defend herself, she knew it would just be her word against Varuni. She began to experience migraine headaches—as the stress mounted. It seemed like nothing was going right for the young woman from Cochin. Yet she knew she was where God wanted her to be and so she prayed and asked Him for help to be strong and effective as His witness.
Over the next year, Angel’s coworkers admired her for her good work habits, her kind disposition and integrity. Even her Hindu manager could see that her presence was a blessing to the restaurant. She was given more responsibility as a cook and a slight pay raise. Meanwhile, Varuni did all she could to make her life miserable. Eventually she stole funds from the cash box and placed them in Angel’s handbag. When an investigation was done and the rupees were found in Angel’s possession, the manager was forced to fire her despite her protestations of innocence. Although he suspected Varuni, he had no choice but to let Angel go. Now she is out looking for another job.
Nehemiah 4:7-8—When Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the repair to the walls of Jerusalem was progressing and that the gaps were being closed, they became furious. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw it into confusion.
It’s not easy to be a target. Much sorrow is experienced when we are the victim of dirty tactics and constant badgering. Nehemiah came with God’s blessings from Susa, a major city in Elam, to rebuild the Jerusalem wall and make the city safe for his fellow Jews. Immediately, Sanballat and his cadre of thugs did all they could to stop Nehemiah. So he and his countrymen“ . . . prayed to our God and stationed a guard because of them day and night” (Neh. 4:9).
Followers of Jesus should expect opposition—we should not be surprised that hell opposes heaven. Like Angel, we may lose our job. Like Nehemiah we may find that building walls is four times harder than it should be. Second, no matter what we face our best course of action is to pray! We need God’s help—if we forget this our problems are even deeper than we think. Third, we continue to run the race. Never give up! If necessary, post the guard and stand the watch but don’t quit!
You may lose your job, but God will not forsake you—He will provide. You may find your name unjustly smeared. Jesus was called demon-possessed (John 8:48). You may endure pain and emotional distress. Don’t despair—Jesus left His blood on many stones stumbling to Golgotha. He proceeded with His eyes on His Father. Keep moving upward, the path is narrow but the payoff is indescribable! Opposition molds our character, tests our resolve, stretches our faith and reveals our convictions. So press on mighty child of God and be blessed by the King of Blessings.
Virtue is the outcome of conflict. And spiritually it is the same. “In the world you will have tribulation”; that is, everything that is not spiritual makes for your undoing; “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” When this is understood it is a perfect delight to meet opposition, and as we learn so win over the things that come against us, we produce the balance of holiness.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)