Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Once when I was a little girl my family went on a picnic in the Yorkshire Moors. We were on holiday at that time. My brother and sister suggested we play hide and seek, and I was to hide my eyes first and count to a hundred. After counting, I searched for them among the surrounding heather, to no avail. After a while I realised that they had used the opportunity to take off without me.
Whilst I’ve experienced many and worse rejections throughout my life, that one incident stands out for me as a time when I learned that other people are not always kind, or fair, or truthful, or inclusive. Unfortunately it was also one of the many incidents throughout my childhood which caused me to believe, erroneously, that I was not as likeable or as worthy of friendship as other people. Living on the edges of social groups became a pattern that I was to repeat for decades.
I believe now that a spirit of rejection entered my life at a young age, one that has been dealt with, but still hangs around every now and again, hoping to re-establish its ugly presence. It brings with it all the lies of Satan – you’re no good, nobody likes you, you will never fit in, etc. etc.
Many people struggle with rejection that batters their self-esteem. People who have been adopted wonder why they were given up at birth. Children may feel rejected by a parent as the result of divorce. Sibling rivalry may cause children to feel rejected by a parent. Abuse, bullying, interactions within social media, breakdown of friendships all cause anxiety and isolation. The end of a relationship can cause feelings of rejection, as does unfaithfulness within marriage. Failure to gain employment or a promotion may also cause feelings of rejection. 

Derek Prince, who has written and spoken on the subject of spiritual strongholds and warfare, asserts that there is a strong spirit of rejection connected with Australia. The indigenous peoples have felt rejected by the European society which replaced that in which they lived. The first European settlers were transported convicts, unwanted by a society in which they lived in dreadful conditions. People who feel rejected often reject others, and may find it difficult to believe that God loves them. The first church built in Australia was burned down by convicts, and a great harvest of faith is yet to be experienced in this nation.
Even churches can cause feelings of rejection. A pastor or ministry leader can give great love, time, effort and resources to a church only to have his or her ministry undermined or attacked. The Bible tells us “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10) Rejection accomplishes all of these. It steals our peace and sense of self-worth. It establishes strongholds which can be difficult to penetrate. It destroys families, churches and our Christian witness. Sometimes it can tempt the person who feels rejected to hurt themselves. Feelings of rejection can keep us from living the life that God intended we should live, with purposeful and vibrant relationships.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed compassion and love to those who were made outcasts by the society in which they lived - tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, the sick and old, those of a different people group such as Samaritans.
Jesus knew what it was like to be rejected. He was betrayed by a friend. He was deserted by others. He was mocked and scorned and finally killed by those whom He came to save. He wept over the hardness of hearts of those He encountered in Jerusalem. He could have become angry over His treatment, He could have retaliated, yet He chose to forgive. He understands how we feel and is our comforter and strength. The Bible tells us

" For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:15,16)
Praise God, rejection was part of His plan for our redemption. When Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit stood before the Sanhedrin, he proclaimed what was prophesied in scripture:

"Jesus is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.' (Acts 4:11)

In the second part of the verse of John 10:10, Jesus says “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” We have an abundant life in Jesus. The Bible is full of verses which remind us that He came to save us and bring us into relationship with God, through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. We are of such great importance to Him that He died for each one of us. He longs to include everyone in His family. The angels rejoice when a sinner repents and turns to Jesus. His concern for us was so great that when He ascended to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit, the Parakletos, the One who comes alongside, to be with us throughout this earthly life.
At times we all feel rejected and hurt by other people, and knowingly or unknowingly have caused others to feel isolated or rejected. Be aware that as Christians, we will at times be rejected by others in the world which does not honour God, simply because we have different values and lifestyles which challenge what is accepted or popular. We need never feel rejected by God however, because we can believe His promises in the Bible. Here are just a few examples and by regularly reading God’s word, you will be fortified against feelings of rejection and filled with His love and peace.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37

“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” Isaiah 41:9.10

"Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” Isaiah 49:15.16
“The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God..... Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,  says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  (Isaiah 54: 6 and 10)
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.” Psalm 119:76
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16,17)

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