Tuesday, February 25, 2014

rebounding well, part two

Yesterday I discussed how to "rebound well" by making the Lord the first priority, even at great cost.  Our illustration comes from the return from captivity of the people of Judah from Babylon after 70 years in exile, from the book of Ezra.  Part two of this story seems to be to "expect opposition".  When the people began to rebuild the Temple of God and repopulate the city of Jerusalem they attracted a lot of resistance from the locals.
Ezra The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the Lord, the God of Israel.So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, "Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here."
But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, "You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us."
Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne.
You can probably count on some kind of similar difficulty as you climb out of the valley of your difficult experience and attempt to rebuild a healthy central focus on God.  You may be accused of wasting your time or being narrow minded or out of touch with reality.  Some may say that you are becoming too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.  But this is just a sign that you are on the right track!  Remember what Jesus said about this kind of experience:
Luke 6:22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Rob Smith

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