Opportunity in Opposition

Although most of us are familiar with the passage in the Book of Romans, which reminds us of how our gracious Father God is able to use all things to our benefit, when bad things happen to us, we may still become baffled and even hurt. We know that God has promised to use everything that happens to us, the good and the bad, to our benefit, but tragedy still besets us.

We ask, “Why God?” “Why did this happen to me?”

But, if it is true that God uses all things, the good and the bad, to our benefit, then perhaps we need to look at the bad things that happen to us a little differently. I suspect that if we are not careful, we may miss our greatest opportunities!

What is important for us to see is that sometimes God hides opportunity in our opposition. Consequently, in many instances, our greatest opportunity is often hidden in our greatest opposition.

This truth is beautifully illustrated in the story of the life of Joseph. He was the second youngest son of the twelve sons of his father, Jacob (Benjamin was the youngest). He was his father’s favorite child and his older brothers hated him because of his father’s favor. Nevertheless, his life demonstrates this important principle of God:

  • God hides opportunity in opposition.
  • In many cases, the thing that is most troublesome for you is the very thing God intends to use to bless you.
  • When the enemy launches his greatest attack, know that you are on the brink of your greatest opportunity.

So let’s look at how this principle unfolds in the life of Joseph.

First, his brothers threw him into a pit and sold him to merchants. But out of this opposition came Joseph’s opportunity to serve in Potiphar’s house.

Then Potiphar threw him into prison after his wife falsely accused him of rape. But out of this opposition came Joseph’s opportunity to serve in the Pharaoh’s palace.

Ultimately Joseph would rise to second in command under the Pharaoh and be used by God to save the people of Israel from famine.

Out of Joseph’s greatest opposition came his greatest opportunity.

Opposition, in this context, is defined as anything that challenges you beyond your perceived ability. Opposition comes to say, “Stop! I know you thought that everything in your life would work out to your favor, but it will not.”

  • You thought your marriage would always be happy, but there is some pain you must endure.
  • You thought your career would take you straight up the corporate ladder, but there are some steep turns in the climb.
  • You thought raising children would always be delightful, but there are challenges that stretch you beyond your limit.
  • You thought your sickness was benign, but the doctor says it is malignant.

Opposition moves you to say, “I give up. I cannot do it. I want to do it your way God; I am trying to live a godly life, but it is not working!”

Think about Joseph. He could have given up at any one of those difficult times in his life:

  • He was thrown in a pit.
  • His brothers sold him into slavery.
  • Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of rape.
  • He was thrown into prison.

He could have easily given up after such great tragedy. But he did not! Instead, he discovered that:

  • God hides opportunity in opposition.
  • The thing that was most troublesome for him was the very thing God intended to use to bless him.
  • When the enemy launched his greatest attack, Joseph was on the brink of his greatest opportunity.

You see opposition in your life does what nothing else can. For Joseph, only being sold into slavery by his brothers could have gotten him into Potiphar’s house. Then, it was only by being thrown into prison that he was brought before Pharaoh and given the opportunity to save his people.

What you must come to understand about the opposition in your life is that God has you right where He wants you. And just like Joseph, you are experiencing opposition so that God can take you somewhere you could never get to without it. But you must have the courage to “tread upon serpents.”

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