Dealing with Hostility

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Acts 16:16-40


I.         You know you ought to say something, but you also know it isn’t going to go over well.

            A.        They just won’t understand, so they will turn on you - I Peter 4:4

            B.        They are going to hate you for standing for righteousness - Psalms 69:4

            C.        Instead of listening to reason, they’re going to mock you. They are going to chew you up and spit you out - Psalms 35:15-17

            D.        You’ll become a target. People will watch your every move, just waiting for you to slip up so they can pounce - Jeremiah 20:10

II.        So how do you react to personal attacks?

            A.        Do you avoid conflict? Do you shrink away and cower in a corner?

            B.        Focus on God - Psalms 57:4-5

                        1.         Know where you stand with God

                                    a.         Psalms 119:163-165 - When you love God’s law, nothing can cause you to stumble

                                    b.         Not like Matthew 13:20-21. We need roots!

                                    c.         John 10:27-29 - Because of obedience, nothing external can shake us

                        2.         This isn’t about you. This is a war between evil and good. You just happen to be in the line of fire.

            C.        Be steadfast - Psalms 57:6-7

                        1.         Immovable - I Corinthians 15:58

                        2.         Like a tree planted by waters - Psalms 1:2-5

                        3.         It isn’t about your strength but God’s strength - Jeremiah 17:7-8

            D.        See the need of those attacking you

                        1.         The example of Jesus - Hebrews 12:1-3

                        2.         When Moses was attacked by his own family, he prayed for them - Numbers 12:1-3, 10-13

                        3.         Knowing the terror of the Lord - II Corinthians 5:10-11

III.       Do not be afraid

            A.        The Lord is on my side - Psalms 118:5-17

            B.        The only one deserving fear is God - Luke 12:4-5

                        1.         But we have no fear of Him - Hebrews 13:5-6

            C.        When Paul and Silas were released from prison, they did not act as men put to shame - Acts 16:35-39

            D.        When Jesus was injustly slapped - John 18:19-23

            E.        We need to be aware that we represent God and righteousness

                        1.         Jeremiah 1:16-19 - Do not be dismayed

                        2.         Ezekiel 2:3-7 - Do not be afraid of them or their words

            F.        God doesn’t want timid followers - I Timothy 1:7-8

IV.      Do not strike back

            A.        Turn the other cheek - Matthew 5:38-41

                        1.         The offering of the other cheek isn’t out of timidness, but boldly showing that you were not intimidated

                        2.         And it shows that you are choosing not to strike back

            B.        Live at peace, if possible. When it isn’t possible, don’t avenge yourself - Romans 12:17-21

            C.        God will take care of wrong doers - Proverbs 20:22

            D.        Our job is to do good - I Thessalonians 5:15

V.        I’m not ashamed

            A.        Not ashamed of the Gospel - Romans 1:16

            B.        Not ashamed to suffer - II Timothy 1:12

            C.        Instead glorify God - I Peter 4:16

            D.        And when he comes, we will have confidence - I John 2:28

Song: I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord

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