“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers” — Acts 14:2.
I’m just gonna come out and say it right in the beginning so all of us know.
If you are doing anything that is moving God’s kingdom forward, expect opposition. Every time.
I was having my quiet time last week and came across Acts 14. It started off this way in verse one: “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.” This is effective ministry. Paul was going in to the Jewish synagogue and speaking to anyone who was there in such a way that a great number of people surrendered their lives to Jesus. And the very next verse tells us that many of “the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” So, where there was success, opposition followed.
Let me encourage you: If you are being faithful to what God has called you to do, and you are experiencing opposition, be encouraged. That’s right. I said, be encouraged. There are times when we face criticism because we are not doing our job well or not being faithful to the call that God has given to us, and that criticism needs to be humbly received and repented of. But it is also true that opposition comes because we are being completely obedient and effective for the cause of Christ, and this infuriates the Enemy.
So what are we supposed to do when we are experiencing opposition because of obedience? We do exactly what Paul did. We keep on going. All of Acts 14 is Paul moving forward the kingdom of God and being met with opposition because he was effective in the ministry that God called him to. So we continue. We press on. We don’t stop. We will face discouragement. We will wonder at times whether or not we are being effective. We will annoy and frustrate some who don’t understand what God is asking of us. We will be misunderstood. We will misunderstand those that we have been entrusted to care for. But no matter what the opposition looks like, we move forward. We cannot give up. We must not.
So, as a reminder, if you are being effective for the cause of Christ, expect opposition. When you experience that opposition, be encouraged for you are in good company.