Hard pressed?

John Piper31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;  we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Luke 7:31-34 ESV

Jesus wasn’t shocked by the opposition that his gospel aroused (John 2). Our perversity towards Him, our stubborn rejection of the truth about ourselves, came as no surprise to Him, and it never for a moment diminished His love for us. Our opposition was powerless to prevent His purpose being fulfilled. This final brief post on the theme of opposition also comes from John Piper.

John Piper wrote: “And if there is enough conflict and hostility that those who speak the gospel are even imprisoned, that very moment of bad press may be the occasion of gospel triumph. Why? Because, Paul said, ‘I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal [for the gospel]. But the word of God is not bound!’(2 Timothy 2:9). In fact, it may be that when God and truth are loved enough that we are willing to take stands that incur slander and hostility, the Spirit may move more powerfully than in times of peace and popularity.

“Sometimes Christians have favor with society and sometimes we ‘are spoken against everywhere.’ In either case, God can, and often does, pour out His power for effective witness. Both peace and slander can be the occasion of blessing.

“Therefore let us not embrace the assumption that times of social ridicule must be times of weakness and fruitlessness for Christianity. They may be a sign of faithfulness and occasions of great harvest. The church was ‘spoken against everywhere,’ and ‘the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.’ (Acts 19:20).

From John Piper in Pierced by the Word.

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