What’s standing in the way between you and feeling fine?

What’s squeezing you in its grip, refusing to let go?

What’s staring you down, telling you to give up?

Opposition = the force that works against you. And it’s not always a cartoon character bad guy, is it?

It could be a hurt you can’t release. A person you can’t forgive. A habit you can’t shake. Those people who never believed in you. That voice in your head that tells you you’re nothing.

What if you listened for a different voice instead?

A voice that whispered the truth?

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Lord, teach me your way; because of my opponents, lead me on a good path. Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies, because false witnesses and violent accusers have taken their stand against me. But I have sure faith that I will experience the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

Hope in the Lord! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope in the Lord!

Psalm 27:11-14

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Notice a pattern here? It’s like this: Opposition – then God. God – then Opposition. Rinse and repeat.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian life meant no enemies? Wouldn’t it be great if following Jesus meant you didn’t even care about enemies?

Even now that I’m in my 40s, it still stings to the core when someone spreads false rumors about me or lies about me to make themselves look better. I start thinking about what I wish I could say or do to get back, and the revenge fantasies start to spiral.

And in the online world, nothing feels worse than seeing photos on Instagram of your enemy riding off into the sunset of their seemingly perfect life, with no remorse for what they did to you. It’s enough to take you down a sinkhole of despair.

But resist the urge to compare your life to the person’s who hurt you. Behind the filtered photos, who knows what their story’s really like?

You’re still alive. There’s still goodness ahead. God’s got exclamation points all over your future.

Cari Pattison

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Lead me down a good path.
Help me take the high road.
It’s so tempting to go down the dark tunnel of comparison,
obsessing over my enemy’s ruthlessness and success.
Will you pray these words over me when I can’t?
“Hope in the Lord! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope in the Lord!”

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Thus sayeth the Lord:

No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

No weapon of defeat,

No weapon of self-doubt,

No weapon of fear or rejection or jealousy or rage.

No thing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So be strong in the Lord and in the power of God’s might:

‘Cause nothing can stop your journey now.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is an ordained Presbyterian minister and fitness instructor. Originally from Kansas City, she just completed over a decade of ministry work at The Reformed Church of Bronxville (NY). On March 17, 2019, she leaves to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

What Wondrous Love is This

Mark Hayes

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