Hebrews 12:2 & Ephesians 1:6
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.
I have been studying the lives of the early church and the rejection they received from the Jewish community. Because they chose to follow Jesus, they were abandoned by family and friends. They were often declared “dead” and were unable to get work or buy even the most basic of supplies. Rejection can be devastating.
While most of us have never experienced this type of rejection, it does not stop Satan from crippling us with other forms of “rejection.” It can be a child abandoned or wounded by a parent. For some, it is the “knife” of betrayal that comes from the dearest of friends or close family members. The rejection can come from a break-up that leaves you lonely and broken. But regardless of the source of the “rejection,” God never intends for it to cripple your walk with Him or steal the abundant life he purposes for you.
Rejection is like either being hit suddenly by a bus or slowly being knocked down time and time again. Either way, it leaves even the strongest in faith, fearful, and doubting. Through the tears and brokenness of rejection, the question floods your mind. “Why?” “What have I done?” “I don’t understand.” “God, where are you?” God knows your heart and your thoughts, and there is no need to hide behind a religious mask. Take your hurt and your questions to the One who loves you the most. Be honest before God.
Once you can go honestly before God with all your hurt and unanswered question, you are left with a choice. Do you remain broken by the rejection? It can become a muddy pig pen that can mare you down the rest of your life. Hebrews 12:1 says, “let us lay aside every weight…” A heart that is heavy and broken by rejection can side-line you in the Christian race. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us]…” Only God can truly heal a heart and give you the strength to let go of the weight of rejection.
Rejection can quickly produce a fear inside of you, that robs you of trust and even motivation. A step ahead is a commitment to return to the race. But what if you get knocked down again? Hebrews 12:1b says, “run with patience the race set before us.” Run is an active verb. Move” This step involves praying for God to lead you to the path he has been preparing for you to run. You may start like a baby trying to learn to walk. Stand up, take a step, fall, and repeat. God can often use our rejection to strengthen us and move us in a new direction. Get back into the race. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Look unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith…” God desires for your faith to bloom, where he has planted you at this moment. When the memory of rejection threatens to deaden your faith, lift your eyes past your pain, onto your Father’s face. “Grow in me!”
According to the Thesaurus, the opposite of rejection is acceptance. God’s acceptance of me far outweighs any “rejection” Satan can cast onto my path. Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, I can be a child of God, loved and accepted. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
Have you been accepted in the “beloved”?