faith

How to Handle Rejection

 

How young were you the first time you experienced rejection?

Personally, I know rejection entered my life at a very young age, probably in kindergarten. But my first vivid memory of this painful human experience happened in middle school.

Jason Smith asked me to “go” with him, and I told him I had to think about it.

So, his friend John thought he would help.

“You really should take him up on this offer because he may be the only boyfriend you ever have,” he reasoned.

His words pierced deep. He prophesied rejections all my life. No other boy would want me to be his girlfriend.

Remember, I was only in seventh grade.

Yes, my hair was a frizzy mess rather than a perfect feathered Farah Fawcett’s. Braces embellished my smile, but he didn’t have to be so mean.

John’s clever statement made me mad enough and hurt enough to reject Jason.

I rejected him before he could reject me.

(Sorry, Jason.)

Last to be picked for the team

Before the struggle with boys, I always experienced rejection on the playground in elementary school. When we lined up to form teams, I felt rejected with every name called that wasn’t mine. The team captains always chose the athletic kids first. Some of you know what I mean. You were last pick too.

All of us knew rejection as kids, and we know it now. As adults, rejection comes in the form of not getting the job, the promotion, or the award. Some of us know the rejection of a parent, spouse or child.

It happens.

And it hurts.

In Good Company

Does it help to know we’re in good company? Maybe not, but I have to remind us that Jesus Himself endured rejection by the very people who also served God,  the religious leaders and teachers of the law. That rejection culminated to crucifixion on a cross. I dare say none of us  reading this article have faced such brutal rejection from our peers.

I find it interesting that it’s the painful part of Jesus’s humanity–his knowledge of rejection, pain, grief, betrayal, and abandonment which connects our hearts with His. Could rejection be apart of what Paul was describing when he wrote, “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Cor. 1:5).

Jesus gets it. I hope that comforts you.

There are other things we can do to help ease the sting.

3 Steps to Handle the Sting of Rejection

  1. Pray to trust God’s sovereignty and that He wants good things for you. (Jer. 29:11).
  2. Post Romans 8:28 all over your home. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  3. Write down a “blessed” list— the things you are thankful for and what good can come out of this rejection.

Faith is all about trusting God. Faith trusts His hand in our lives, and believes He works in all circumstances according to His good purposes. Only God can see the big picture. He alone has walked into our future and knows the outcomes of our decisions and the choices of other people in our lives.

Can we believe that the rejection we faced yesterday, God can use and will use for good?

The enemy wants us to doubt God’s goodness and believe the worst. He uses rejection to discourage us.

Stand on Scripture when rejection threatens your joy and pierces your heart.

Bible Reading Plan

 

Scriptures, Prompts, and Printable

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  • “Prosper” is the word Shalom which means peace, wholeness, and wealth. These are God’s plans for you as well as hope and a future. How does standing on this truth help handle rejection?

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

  • What good things could come out of rejection?

Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed; for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

  • The enemy wants us to doubt God’s love when we face rejection, but when we rest in that love, the rejection cannot consume us. List some ways God has been faithful to you in the past.

Get the Free Printable for Your Quiet Time

Psalm 27: 10-11

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord;lead me in a straight pathbecause of my oppressors.

  • Rejection is oppressive, but it always hurts worse when it’s caused by people we love. How does knowing God loves you, and He will never reject you comfort you?

Isaiah 53:3

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

  • This is a painful scripture to me. What good came out of Jesus’s suffering and rejection? Write a prayer to Him.

John 1: 11-13

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

  • Christ’s rejection by His people did not stop His power or purpose. How can the rejections we face be used to further our calling or purposes? Ask God how He wants to use your rejection.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

  • Sometimes this is easier said than done, but there’s a blessing to be found. Worshiping stops the enemy. Thankfulness softens our hearts and eases the blows. Write a prayer of praise and thankfulness to Jesus.

{ Download this Printable }

You’re Not Alone! Join our Fellowship

Misery loves company, but so does strength and joy. In fact, when we join together in our struggles and our hopes and faith, we grow stronger, and healthier in our faith. Join me on my daily broadcast via Facebook Live. It’s Monday-Friday at 8:20 AM ET. Simply follow me on Facebook and choose to receive notifications when I go live. There’s a great fellowship building with our friends. Join us!

Praying You Up

Dear friends, I know the pain of rejection. In fact, I feel like I’ve been through a huge season of it recently, and that experience resulted in this post. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but the forces of this dark world. The enemy wants us discouraged. He wants to steal our purpose. Don’t let him. I’m praying you up. Hold my hands.

“Dear Jesus, You of all people know the sting of rejection. You know our hurt, discouragement, and the heartache. Take it Lord and turn it around for good. Give us a vision of the bigger picture. Holy Spirit, help us trust. Put a song of joy and hope in our hearts. Let the rejections we’ve experienced propel us forward to the better plans you have for us. Grant us your shalom, and make us an army to be reckoned with as we worship you. Amen.”

 

Digging Deep to Live Fully,

Andy

 

Beautiful, Psalm 119 devotionsP.S. If you found this post encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

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