Episode 85: Opposition is the Opportunity to Return to the SaviorJan 16, 2023
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My guess is that when most of us think of opposition we don’t have fond happy feelings right? There is so much opposition in the world today and I am sure you have uttered the words I hear so many people saying, “the second coming can’t come soon enough.” Even President Nelson related with this sentiment in the past conference
"We are presently living in what surely is a most complicated time in the history of the world. The complexities and challenges leave many people feeling overwhelmed and exhausted…I weep over your heartaches, disappointments, and worries… It seems that we are accosted daily by an onslaught of sobering news. You may have had days when you wished you could don your pajamas, curl up in a ball, and ask someone to awaken you when the turmoil is over."
I bet you can relate with that. Opposition is the number one cause of our heartache and pain in this world. It makes sense why we would want to avoid opposition at all costs and try to create a life that doesn’t have opposition in it. But what if I told you that opposition is actually our greatest opportunity to have a better relationship with the Savior. Opposition is what allows us to build that relationship and grow to become more like Him. Without opposition we would have no need to turn to the Savior and therefore no ability to grow. I love how Elder Hallstrom describes the need for opposition in our lives.
“Throughout the world and among the membership of the Church, there is great joy and great pain. Both are part of the plan. Without one, we cannot know the other. “Men are, that they might have joy” and “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” are not contradictory; they are complementary. In describing how he felt when he turned to the Lord, Alma the Younger said, “My soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain”
I think we can all agree, opposition is what allows us to feel positive emotions. But do you understand, at a deep level, that opposition is what allows you the opportunity to have a relationship with the Savior. There was a reason that opposition was placed inside of us at the fall of Adam and Eve. That opposition that was placed in us is called the natural man. We ALL have the natural man inside of us.
That force is meant to lead us to believe falsehoods about our true identity from God. That is literally the job description of the Natural Man inside of us. It is meant to pull us away from The Savior. Opposition gives us a reason and the opportunity to choose the Savior over and over again. To choose God. To choose to receive power from Him. To show our faith and love in and for Jesus Christ. Sister Craig said it better than I can.
"I am learning that Heavenly Father is more interested in my growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ than He is with my comfort. I may not always want it to be that way—but it is! Living in convenience does not bring power. To lean in with our faith when facing strong headwinds—to sincerely strive each day to do what we covenanted with the Savior we would do, even and especially when we are tired, worried, and wrestling with troubling questions and issues—is to gradually receive His light, His strength, His love, His Spirit, His peace. Trials do not mean that the plan is failing; they are part of the plan meant to help me seek God.”
I love that last part so much! "Trials do not mean we are failing, they are meant to help me seek God.” There it is. Trials, opposition and failing are all meant to be opportunities to turn back to the Savior and receive His power, love and grace. Opposition allows us to grow.
Think about building muscle. You need an opposing force to have growth in the muscle. If you don’t have an opposing force, then your muscle will not grow and become stronger. This opportunity to have opposition at our feet everyday allows us to grow and become who we were meant to become. Sister Craig also said,
“Remember that the Lord told us to expect troubles. Troubles are part of the plan and do not mean you’ve been abandoned; they are part of what it means to be His. He was, after all, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”
This is what I truly want you to remember, satan wants us to believe that opposition means we are failing, are not loved, and are doing something wrong. When in reality it is our opportunity to become acquainted with the one person who knows exactly how we feel and what we need in that moment. President Nelson taught,
“Jesus Christ atoned for each of us, you too can overcome this sin-saturated, self-centered, and often exhausting world. Because the Savior, through His infinite Atonement, redeemed each of us from weakness, mistakes, and sin, and because He experienced every pain, worry, and burden you have ever had, then as you truly repent and seek His help, you can rise above this present precarious world. You can overcome the spiritually and emotionally exhausting plagues of the world. Despite the distractions and distortions that swirl around us, you can find true rest—meaning relief and peace—even amid your most vexing problems.”
I love that! When we choose to look at opposition as an opportunity then we will seek His help and feel his power to overcome this world. That is truly the ability to Hear the Savior in all circumstances. So now you might be wondering, ok this all sounds great and wonderful, but how do we actually do this in real life? How do we seek and hear the Savior in the midst of all that opposition and chaos
Well it’s too much for this 10 minute podcast to cover so I decided to put together a class called Hear Him in the Chaos Class. This will be a free class that you can attend and learn five steps to hearing Him in the chaos. I am doing the class on February 1, 2023. Get registered and I will email you all the details about attending. I hope to see you there.
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