Consider all that Jesus had to endure—the scorn, the beatings, the mock trial, the rejection of those He had walked with and even fed in the desert. Think of the cross—the violence and the fury of the opposition that Satan sent in his attempts to destroy the work of God. Little did the enemy know that he was actually supplying the necessary ingredient to secure its success.
According to the Scriptures, “without shedding of blood is no remission [of sin]” (Hebrews 9:22). Those who oppose the work of God are bread for us. There had to be violence, there had to be a cross, there had to be a death. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:8 that if the rulers of this age had known what they were doing, they never would have crucified the Lord of glory!
Recall the time when Peter and John approached the temple called Beautiful and took a lame man by the hand—a man who had spent many years begging while the religious crowd simply passed him by. Nobody had a problem with his powerlessness until Peter and John lifted him up in the name of Jesus, and God miraculously healed him.
Beloved, do not be afraid of opposition. It is a necessary ingredient in our lives; it is bread for us. Peter and John were called before the council of religious leaders and threatened twice. Yet what was the result of this threat? “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is” (Acts 4:23-24).
We see here that opposition had ignited a prayer meeting! Instead of bowing to the threats, the disciples bent their knees to God and began to pray, “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30). It was the healing of this lame man that brought all this trouble upon them, so they turned around and asked God to give them more boldness, more power, more healings!
Opposition is bread—it sends us into the presence of God where all our strength is found. Without opposition the church gets lazy and turns inward, seeking power without purpose—a formula for spiritual delusion.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.