When I surrendered my life to the Lord for real 25+ years ago, a lot of people around me were not happy about it. Conflict immediately began arising in my household, and I was constantly assaulted by hurtful words and actions, even by some of my closest loved ones. As I spent time alone with God, and earnestly sought Him through His Spirit and His Word, He continually comforted me and strengthened me.
One of the promises the Lord gave me that meant the most to me back then was Isaiah 50:7-8 (NLT): "Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. He who gives me justice is near." And God graciously kept His promise to me. Over the years, He has either transformed people's hearts and made them His devoted ones, or He has strengthened and consoled me so thoroughly, that it no longer pains me when others oppose my faith.
But here's the key: We must rely totally upon God for His wisdom and power, and we must be "determined to do His will," no matter how fierce the opposition. When the Lord - and other people - see that we are serious about our devotion to Him, God Himself will be our Vindicator, and He will equip us to refuse and resist the shame and disgrace that the devil and his minions try to attach to us.
If you are in the same painful place that I was in years ago, I urge you to take these words to heart. Never forget that you are not alone. Remember that "He who gives [you] justice is near." Be bold. Be confident. And watch the Lord go to work on your behalf!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for saving me, and for adopting me into Your family. When I encounter conflict and criticism because of my faith, strengthen me and console me so that I can stand firm in my devotion to You. Guard me from shame and disgrace, and grant me the justice You promise in Your Word. Thank You that as I remain determined to do Your will, You will anoint and equip me to be a world-changer for Christ!
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