Scriptures of the Week:
2 Samuel 5:10 (EXB)
“He became stronger and stronger [more and more powerful/great], because the Lord God All-Powerful [of Heaven’s Armies;of hosts] was with him.”
2 Samuel 5:12 (EXB)
“Then David knew [realized] that the Lord really had made [confirmed; established] him king of [over] Israel and that the Lord had made his kingdom great [blessed/exalted his kingdom] because the Lord loved [for the sake of] his people Israel.”
Hope Discovery of the Week:
The hope in the various dramas we face in this life is that our God fights all of our battles.
Man’s opinion of us can sometimes snuff out hope. David ran for his life from those who lied about and maligned his character just to make up an excuse to bring him down. He became king, anyway. God’s purposes always override man’s. Still, the opinions of man can weigh on us heavily. When we learn of accusations against our character, we can feel defined by their perception, or rise above it all when equipped with God’s truth in it all.
God’s purposes stand.
Man tries to control outcomes down here on earth by belittling others or puffing themselves up, but in the end, it is all folly. God is in complete control and His purposes will not be thwarted.  Man’s opinion will not affect God’s. Isn’t that good news? And God sees every one of our flaws and still chooses to see His Son when He looks at us.
Man’s Opinions are Temporary. Just like Man is.
Any accusations that come against us deserved or not, are temporary opinions of man. When we stand in the grace of God, man’s opinions fall off us. Looking to eternity, we see that God’s opinion of us lasts longer than man’s. Hallelujah!
Man’s Opinions of Us Are Not About Us.
When we no longer live for self but for Christ who lives in us, the opinions about us are not about us anymore. And when our God is with us, He uses it all for our good and his glory.
Opinions are Like Noses . . .
Opinions are like noses, my step-dad used to say. Everyone has one. But opinions are not facts. We care too much about what others say because we might be making an idol of their opinion. An opinion loses its power when it is put up against the word of God.
Fearing Opinions is a Snare
Being concerned with opinions is really the fear of man. Why should their opinion matter? Any thought or opinion that is negative likely came from an evil source. Fear of man keeps us in sin while the fear of God keeps us from sin.
Opinions Can Make us Stronger
Despite the attacks of jealous people, David became stronger as he leaned on his God. There is hope when people talk about us because God can use that to cause us to draw nearer to him. More than that, it can serve to humble us and remind us about what really matters in this life.
The Purpose in Favor
Ultimately, we don’t like it when others have bad opinions of us or talk about us because we want favor. But the favor of man is fickle. God gives us favor that matters more. But the favor God gives us is not about us and the favor He gave David was not about David. It was about God’s love for His people. Any favor that God gives us is not for us, but for God’s people.
Let’s Forget About Ourselves
Opinions only have power when we let them and when we are focused on self. Occupation with self keeps us in sin. It also keeps us from leading productive lives for God’s glory. A worship song from the 80’s still reverberates in my mind, “Let’s Forget About Ourselves and Magnify the LORD and worship Him”. Self is a trap and pride is the snare that keeps us bound.
The hope in the various dramas we face in this life is that our God fights all of our battles. We just need to rest in him. Our daddy fight our battles When we are worn out . Our hope in times when others are disparaging of us is that our God sees and he is for us when others are against us. Who can stand against us when God is for us? No weapon forged against us will prosper when our great God is for us.

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