The pain of rejection cuts so deep, God.
The sting, so painful.
I set my hope and trust upon You.
Thank You, Lord, for accepting me just as I am.
Series Focus: “Resurrecting Hope in the Midst of Life’s Storms”
Rejection. Even in the most minor situations, it produces anguish within our being. The mere word stirs up negative feelings, raw emotions, and painful memories of past experiences. Whether we’ve been “shown the door” or even escorted through the door, rejection threatens to paralyze us. We often respond by isolating ourselves and shutting down as a protective mechanism. Yet, this reclusive behavior prevents us from living our best life, free from fear, full of hope, secure in our purpose, and pursuing our destiny.
Why is rejection so challenging to overcome?
One reason is we’ve likely spent hours, days, weeks, even years preparing for this “dream” to come true…imagining the fulfillment, daydreaming what it would look like, feel like, be like…only to have our dreams destroyed in mere seconds by another person’s opinions and words. Another reason could be our expectations have been so rooted within us that we’d never entertained the possibility of any deviance from them. Rejection causes the “death” or cessation of something desired or expected in our lives. Ultimately, rejection is so painful and difficult to overcome because it challenges our identity, questions our purpose, and seemingly deters our destiny.
But rejection doesn’t have to be detrimental. Jesus, Himself, experienced rejection from:
- His family – not even His brothers believed in Him (John 7:5);
- His “staff” – Judas’ betrayal (John 13:21) and Peter’s denial (John 18:27);
- His peers – neighbors and friends who were offended by Him and did not believe Him (Matthew 13:57-58); and
- God – Jesus was forsaken – separated from God (Matthew 27:46).
Yet, Jesus continued to be confident in His identity, His purpose, and His destiny. Jesus even instructed us to expect rejection (John 15:18). It’s going to happen! However, we don’t have to succumb to the storms rejection poses. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and cowardice should have no place in us. Yet rejection invokes those emotions. So how do we overcome rejection with hope, peace, assurance, and faith?
First, we must seek God in His word, in prayer, and in worship, loving Him first (Matthew 6:33; 22:37).
Second, we must identify ourselves with Christ, knowing who He says we are, as opposed to who people say we are. Jesus paid the price for us so that we could be accepted by God. Scripture tells us we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), that we have received the “Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15), and that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
Third, we must be confident of God’s purpose for our lives – regardless of the opinions of people (Psalm 57:2; 2 Jeremiah 29:11; Colossians 1:29).
Fourth, we must trust in the destiny God has prepared for us (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalms 37:5, 40:4).
Fifth, we must have a trusted tribe to whom we can turn for encouragement and to remind us of who we are (Proverbs 1:5, 27:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).
God will never leave us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). Don’t allow the rejecting thoughts, opinions, and decisions of people to thrust you into a spiral of paralyzing fear and pain. Know who you are in Christ. Trust His plan for you. If someone has “shown you the door” – yes, listen to their reasoning and learn from the experience – but walk through that open door, confidently knowing God has another door for you. The “no” you experience today just means there’s a different “yes” coming down the pipeline. Keep running the race set before you, knowing you are accepted and loved by God Almighty. And He is more than enough for you!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Hebrews 3:13, 4:15, 13:5; Ephesians 1:6, 2:10; Romans 8:15, 38-39; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 139; Matthew 28:20