Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Most of us have struggled with rejection at some point in our life. We want to feel like we belong with a certain group or friends and they don't share the desire for friendship. Maybe we spent our life trying to please our parents or siblings and nothing we do is ever good enough. Maybe we give our love to someone who has rejected our affections. Feeling as though we haven't measured up to the standards of those around us, the ugly spirit of rejection takes root.
Have you struggled with rejection? You are not alone. Amazingly, almost every person of faith who has a deep and intimate walk with the Lord has shared in this struggle.
In the old testament, we find the story of Joseph. He did everything he could to please his brothers. He received an extra portion of love from his father Jacob but nothing that Joseph would do would ever make him good enough to be accepted by his brothers. The very brothers that he loved so much plotted to kill him and even sold him into slavery. Joseph didn't allow rejection and bitterness to take root though. He allowed God to heal his heart and God used him to save all of us his family from a time of famine.
Another example of rising above rejection is the story of David. When the Israelites were fighting against he Philistines, David went to take his three older brothers food at the battlefield. David was amazed that the giant Goliath could defy the God with his accusations and blasphemies. He asked, "What will be done for the man that kills this giant?"
Instead of being glad that their brother shared their love of Israel, they rejected him and his offer to help. His older brother Eliab said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” We can see that this was the normal way they treated David when he responded, "What have I done now?"
It's obvious that there is nothing David could have done to ever please his brothers. But instead of getting bitter or depressed, David was accepted by the Lord and not only did he kill the giant but he was chosen to be king above all the other brothers who rejected him!
Leah was another person who was rejected. Her husband Jacob was in love with her sister, Rachel. He had worked seven years to be able to marry Rachel, and as a cruel trick, her father snuck her into the tent on his wedding night. Surely there is no rejection as heart wrenching as Leah's, when Jacob was angry the next morning to see that he didn't marry the beautiful Rachel, but had been tricked into marrying the homely and plain, Leah. God looked on Leah's rejection though and although Leah was rejected by Jacob, the Lord accepted her. When Jacob died, he didn't ask to be buried with the lovely Rachel, but with his beloved wife, Leah. As a double honor, most of the 12 tribes of Israel came from Leah and Jesus Himself would be one of her descendants.
The most rejected of all though was our Messiah Himself. Jesus went from town to town, healing the sick and delivering the tormented. People everywhere received Him. But in His own hometown, they said we know that you are only Jesus. We played with you as a child and watched you grow up. Their message was clear. They wanted to make sure He knew He was no one special. It even prompted Him to share a warning with His disciples: a prophet is always without honor in His own hometown. One of his own best friends even turned him over to His enemies by rejecting His love and betraying Him with a kiss.
Do you struggle with rejection? Does it seem that you are overlooked or disregarded? Maybe your family members have rejected you like Joseph was rejected. Maybe, like Leah, you gave your love to someone and they didn't return you affections. Maybe, like David, nothing you do will ever be good enough to please those you love. Maybe like Jesus, people try to make you feel as though you don't have anything of value to offer the Lord or His people.
Take the rejection you have received from people and trade it to the Lord for His acceptance! Let people laugh at you or mock you because the Lord will comfort you! He knows what it feels like to be laughed at and rejected. There is not one case in the bible where someone was rejected by family, friends or leaders that the Lord doesn't offer them healing and acceptance in Him.
When Jesus was alive, He healed many people, he taught in the temple, he set many people free from demons. We don't have any accounts of Jesus going back to check on the ones He ministered to, except to those who were rejected. Every single time a person was rejected (especially those rejected by church leaders or removed from the synagogues), the Lord made a point to go back and find that person, to check on them and make sure they were ok.
Why? Because He understood the pain of rejection and He wanted them to know that people may reject you, family may reject you, even the church may reject you, but that doesn't mean God has rejected you. He will never leave you and He will never forsake you. He will never reject you - you are always accepted and you have a place in God's family!
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
1 Peter 2:4-5
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
Teresa Kelton is the editor of Daughters of Zion - Ellis County. If you are interesting in hosting a Daughters of Zion meeting for your church or small group. Click on the "Invite Us" tab.
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