Daily Devotional

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Interpreting Resistance

The burden bearers . . . each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. Nehemiah 4:17 & 18

When faced with resistance, when our hopes for our lives or our relationships hang in the balance, when we finally desire to release ourselves from the anxiety of waiting for what either will be or will not be, we are often tempted to exclaim, “If it is meant to be, it will be.” We often associate ease with God’s will. If something is God’s will for us, then we assume that everything will just magically fall in place. Somehow we believe that if we are really doing what we are supposed to be doing, then there will be no obstacles to our progress.

Nothing happens easily in the Bible. Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that had been laid waste for hundreds of years. Nehemiah believed the rebuilding was God’s desire for his life, Nehemiah had permission from the king to begin construction, and yet Nehemiah encountered constant resistance. His laborers had to wear weapons as they worked in anticipation of a possible attack. Throughout the Bible, God’s people always encounter resistance to their pursuits—and God always seems to encounter resistance from those same people! Resistance isn’t a sign that you are not doing what you are meant to be doing. Resistance itself might be the indication that you are doing exactly what God intends.

How do you interpret the resistance you encounter in your life?

Lord, my resolve tends to be rather weak. If I try to do something and encounter obstacles, I find I am tempted to assume that I am doing something that I am not meant to be doing. I somehow erroneously assume that if I am following you, my life and pursuits should be less labored. Perhaps instead, I should consider the possibility that the crosses I encounter are actually signposts that confirm that I am, in fact, on the right road. Lord, help me to respond to the resistance I encounter with resolve instead of resignation. In your name, I pray. AMEN.