Rejection sucks! There’s no other way to say it. We all remember and dread not getting the job or promotion we’d hoped for, or not getting a date with you-know-who or a positive response to that ‘Friend Request.’ For authors, it’s a manuscript being turned down…again. For those doing auditions, it’s not receiving a ‘call back.’ As children, we may have been rejected by a parent or as parents, we may be rejected by our child. (Rejection from teenagers doesn’t count!) Everyone experiences rejection of some kind.
But here’s the good news. There is One who always chooses you. He always chooses you to be on His team. He always chooses you to be His friend. And, He has chosen you to do a special work for Him. Isaiah 41:9 says, “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” ~ (NIV) So smile and look up! You have been chosen.
I remember trying to land my bike after attempting my one and only jump on a neighbor kid’s homemade ramp. Instead I landed on my knees and still have the scars! Like a klutz, I have fallen off high heels, fallen into an accidental cartwheel while snowboarding, and fallen off the back of a moving pickup truck! Many have fallen for scams or experienced falling in and out of love. But all of us fall into temptation.
When we make those wrong choices, or sin, we need to acknowledge it, straighten things out with God and the one(s) we hurt, get help as needed, and then move on. Falling is expected but we are not expected to stay down or continue making that same stupid ‘fall.’ Let’s learn from our mistakes and do all we can not to repeat them. Falling is costly. It has consequences and leaves scars, but does not need to be permanent.
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ (NIV) The Message Bible’s contemporary translation says, “Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners…and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
Wow! Jesus took the ‘fall’ for us, giving us the opportunity to stand in righteousness with Him!
This city slicker loves to fish. Even after hours of no nibbles, I will not be deterred. I cast my line for the umpteenth time, imagining a different outcome, to feel the double yank in which I respond with alternating pull and reel in, eventually netting the big one…or anything big enough to keep! Why do I continue against all odds and rolled eyes of onlookers? Hope.
Without hope, we’re sunk! We all need hope. Some hope for that illusive hole-in-one, a homerun or goal. Others hope for a successful crop, a good return on an investment, a sunny or rainy day. At times our hope is for small, insignificant things. Other times, it’s a lifeline. Most importantly, our hope must be placed in the One higher than ourselves.
Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV) Preacher Robert Morris explains that soaring like an eagle provides a better perspective of our circumstances; not becoming weary means we have extra energy stored up for later; and not fainting indicates we have a deeper determination to persevere.
At times hope may disappoint, but keep casting. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)
In both the Old and New Testaments, God is constantly working behind the scenes to protect, provide for, raise up, and help His people. The apostle Paul miraculously escapes numerous murder plots. A destitute widow suddenly has plenty to sustain the needs of her family. And, a simple Jewish girl is chosen as queen in a foreign land, preventing the annihilation of the Jews. These are just a sprinkling of God’s handiwork.
As in the past, God continues to work in the lives of His people today. Isaiah 64:4 encourages us with these words, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” (NIV)
Know that God loves you more than you can imagine and is even now working on your behalf. Wait and experience His goodness. In the smallest of details, perhaps where you least expect Him, the One and Only Almighty God is doing something amazing for you!
Wait and see!
You just got that text, or call, or test result and the news is not good. Or there is a possibility that it may not be good. Or there is an inkling of a hint of a chance of a possibility that it may not be good. Your stomach drops and your mind begins the ‘What if…’ attack. STOP!
The apostle Paul gave us a strategy for these moments.
- Turn and talk to the Lord.
- Give thanks for this opportunity to see God at work, or for God’s faithfulness in the past, or for God being with us and helping us through this situation, or all of the above!
- Ask for His protection, guidance, intervention, healing, help, whatever we need.
When we surrender our worries and stresses, God sends His promised peace. Release and receive His peace. It’s a choice.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
We all have work to do. In good times, we experience steady progress. Other times, we may feel like a hamster on an exercise wheel, exhausted, yet making no gains. Still some seasons resemble a roller coaster ride with sluggish climbs, plummeting descents, and sharp, unexpected turns—all to find ourselves back where we started!
Whatever work the Lord has given us to do, there is a purpose. There is something to accomplish and there will be a payoff. Whether our current stint is short or long-term, we should stand strong and not give up. We can find encouragement in Old and New Testament verses that still speak to us today.
“…my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV) Try inserting your name in this verse after the word ‘you.’
“But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.” ~ Psalm 73:28 (NKJV)
Today, I must share one of God’s recent works! A teacher friend texted requesting prayer for healing for a student’s younger sister. The little girl was in ICU. A blood vessel had burst in her brain, causing two bleeds. She had no mobility, was unable to hold a conversation, and barely recognized her family. Fervent prayers went up for this precious child. Nine days later, we received very different news. The youngster had made a miraculous recovery and was starting school that day!
Incredible! Let’s never underestimate the power of prayer. Praise God! He hears, heals, and helps. He’s just waiting for us to come to Him in faith and ask.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” ~ Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)