Overcoming the Pain of Rejection | Ashley Varner

Overcoming the Pain of Rejection

We all experience negative emotions in this life. Thankfully, the Bible shows us exactly how to deal with those emotions. Today, we’re going to talk about how to overcome the pain of rejection. Rejection hurts. But we have a Savior who can identify with us in every way. Jesus was rejected by many people in His life, let’s see how He responded.

Resources Mentioned:

Free Power of Prayer Workbook: https://ashleyvarner.com/prayer
The Mindset Reset: https://ashleyvarner.com/mindset
Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive

Highlights From the Episode:

We all experience negative emotions in this life, and none of us is immune to that. We all are going to experience pain and heartache, but thankfully the Bible shows us how exactly to deal with negative emotions. And today, actually all of this month, I’m going to be sharing a different emotion each week.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to overcome the pain of rejection, because rejection hurts. And we have a savior who can identify with us in every different aspect of the human life. We’re going to look at how we can see Jesus and his response to rejection and how it can help us to overcome the pain of rejection in our own lives.

All of this month, we are going to be talking about dealing with those hard emotions, those tough, difficult, negative emotions that we don’t wanna experience. I have been really thinking and praying about what emotions to talk to you guys about in this series.

And the biggest one that kept coming up was rejection. This is something that we all will struggle with at some point in our lives, whether that is with people that we love, or strangers or family members, maybe someone in your community, maybe you’ve been rejected by friends. And so today I wanna talk to you about how to overcome rejection.

Negative Emotions

The Bible shows us how to overcome any negative emotion. And really, I wanna get away from this idea of negative emotions. It’s the easiest way to explain and to have everybody understand what I’m talking about. But really, there’s no negative emotion. There’s only comfortable emotions or easy emotions and then uncomfortable emotions or hard emotions to deal with. Rejection is definitely one of those uncomfortable, hard to deal with emotions.

Jesus Understands

So let’s start by looking at what Jesus did whenever he was rejected, because it’s easy to think that, you know, Jesus just lived this easy life and yeah, he had to die on the cross but ultimately, you know, there were crowds following him and he had, you know, a lot of followers and things like that, but really, Jesus dealt with every single uncomfortable emotion that we do. And so we can definitely learn from his perfect example.

So I wanna start off by sharing Hebrews 4:15, and it says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.”

So whenever we are experiencing rejection, it’s so important to remember that Jesus also experienced rejection, but he handled it in a way that pleased the Father. He handled it in a way where he wasn’t sinning, and we can do the same thing. So especially when we’re trying to do the right thing or trying to maybe help someone and we get rejected, it can definitely hurt.

And Jesus understands. Even whenever Jesus was here on earth and he was saving the world, right? He was healing people. He was still rejected by other people. And I’m sure that that hurt him.

You know, coming into this world, into this earth to save us, to really bring this reconciliation between us and God, having this perfect heart and compassion for people and then being rejected by those same people could definitely be a wound in your heart. And so if you are experiencing rejection or hurt, pain, anything like that, this is going to be something that we can learn from to know and take comfort in the fact that Jesus felt what we feel. And he understands exactly how you feel.

Jesus Was Rejected

So let’s look at some of the ways that Jesus was rejected during his earthly ministry.

The first way that he was rejected was by strangers. He was rejected by strangers, people who didn’t know him. You know, there were people who, as he was carrying his cross to the hill, they didn’t know who he was. Maybe they had maybe heard of him, but they didn’t know him. He was rejected by them. He was mocked by them.

Think about the man who was hanging on the cross next to him that was shouting things and mocking him and saying, “If you are really who you say you are, why don’t you save us from these crosses?” This was a complete stranger. It wasn’t someone who had been following Jesus. It was someone who was just happened to be on the cross, dying on the day that they crucified Christ. And he was rejected even by someone who had nothing to gain by rejecting him, right?

So he also was rejected by people who didn’t believe in him. These were people who saw him do miracles, people who were following him, watching what he was doing, not necessarily following his teachings, but watching him and kind of keeping a close eye on him, people like the Pharisees who were seeing what he was doing but nitpicking and trying to find holes in his story, trying to find ways to trick him, and he was completely rejected by the religious leaders of his time.

Now, this is something important to look at because there are going to be times whenever you are serving the Lord and you are wanting to do his work, and you are going to be rejected by other Christians. Now, I really want to encourage you not to lump every single Christian and the entire religion based on one person’s actions or even one leader’s actions because we are all imperfect people who are striving to be more like Jesus, and so there’s definitely grace that comes in here.

I want you to see that if you have been rejected by maybe fellow Christians or maybe leadership in your church or in your Christian community, I want you to know that Jesus knows how you feel. He understands that.

So the Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day and they were rejecting his message. They were rejecting his teachings and ultimately, they were rejecting the idea that he was the Messiah, that he was the one who was coming to save the world. And this is important to note because whenever we see this idea of this Messiah coming, the Pharisees were looking for a Messiah to come. They were looking for the savior to come. He had been foretold. The prophets had said all of these things about him, and they were looking, but they’ve personally rejected Jesus as the Messiah because he didn’t fit their mold or he didn’t talk the way that they wanted him to or minister the way that they thought that he should.

So he was rejected by strangers. He was rejected by the religious leaders of his day, but he was also rejected by his own family.

So we can see in Mark chapter 3, it says that his siblings thought that he was out of his mind. They mocked him. They didn’t believe him. And we know that actually, the writer of James in the New Testament is Jesus’ brother, but Jesus’ brother didn’t believe in him until after the resurrection, until after he went to heaven. And so Jesus was rejected by a lot of his family.

I think it’s really interesting to note that whenever Jesus was on the cross and his mother was there, he gave his mother, he gave John the responsibility of taking care of his mother. And so that means that, yeah, there were other siblings there, but Jesus chose John to take care of his mother so we can see from there that his siblings weren’t either at the cross or they weren’t willing to take care of Mary or maybe he just wanted to entrust someone that he loved to take care of his mother.

Now, it’s not just strangers or religious leaders or his family that rejected him, but also his disciples. So whenever he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was praying, his disciples were all there, and he was betrayed and rejected by all of them. And something that I was reading in my research about this is that he was their teacher and rabbi.

So if you look in the New Testament and in the gospels, you’ll see that the disciples were constantly calling Jesus rabbi or teacher. And this was a very high and esteemed honor to be called that. This is an honor that is higher than your parents, higher than a master. Having a teacher status or a rabbi status was so high. It gave so much respect.

But one of the worst insults that a teacher could have or could experience is for his followers to completely deny him or desert him. And Jesus experienced that kind of rejection. So it wasn’t just the physical deserting that happened, but it was that emotional rejection of them leaving him. That was a sign of full rejection at the time.

So we know that they came back and there was forgiveness and they ended up leading the early church, but really, Jesus experienced that pain of rejection in the moment. And so we can see that Jesus had every opportunity to feel that pain of rejection.

And I don’t know about you but whenever I feel rejected, there are certain places that I go, like my mind goes, maybe you feel angry at people or maybe you just feel pity for yourself. I don’t know how you handle rejection, but let’s look at how Jesus handled it.

How Jesus Handled Rejection

So in Luke chapter 6, this is early in his ministry, in verses 27 and 28, Jesus is telling his disciples, it says, “To those of you who will listen I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” So you probably heard that verse before, but ultimately, it wasn’t just Jesus saying that. 17 chapters later, just a short time later, he didn’t just say it, but he lived it out on the cross.

In Luke chapter 23, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Maybe they did know what they were doing, but Jesus was willing to say, “I forgive them. I know that they don’t understand the intensity or the enormity of what’s happening, and so I’m willing to forgive them.”

And whenever you are facing the pain of rejection, I want you to see the way that Jesus handled it. So he handled it with grace. He handled it with love and forgiveness, and we can do the same thing. Whenever we’re rejected by people, maybe total strangers, maybe someone in the church, maybe we’re rejected by our family members or friends, we can go to Jesus’s example and say he experienced this pain, but he didn’t allow it to stop him from accomplishing his mission.

And so, yes, during the times that you are going to be experiencing rejection, maybe you’re in ministry and you’re experiencing some rejection, maybe you’ve tried to apply for a job and you’ve gotten told no, maybe you are wanting to serve in your church and it just feels like you’re not being utilized in the way that you want to be, I want you to see that Jesus understands how you feel. And he has given you the power through his Holy Spirit to respond in the same way that he did, and that is with love and forgiveness.

I think it’s really important to notice, and we’re gonna talk a little bit more about bitterness and forgiveness next week because that is definitely a huge, painful negative emotion that we experience. But ultimately, when it comes down to overcoming negative emotion, especially when it feels like that emotion or that pain is coming from outside of us, so circumstance, we know that every emotion is caused by a thought, but our thoughts are an interpretation of our circumstances.

If you have a circumstance that you are having thoughts about and you’re feeling and thinking that you’ve been rejected, I want you to see that it’s okay to let that go into the hands of God and really understand that letting something go, letting the pain of rejection go doesn’t negate everything that happened to you. It doesn’t condone maybe the negative things that happened or the wrong things that happened to you.

What it does is it just releases them into the hands of God to say, “Lord, I know that I even though I’ve been rejected, I know that I’m doing what you’ve called me to do.” And ultimately, that’s why Jesus had so much security and so much peace in accepting that rejection because he knew that he was accepted by his father.

And whenever you are walking in line with the Lord, when you are following after his will, what you’re going to see and what you can take comfort in is that he accepts you how you are whenever you are living for him and you are pleasing him. The pain and the rejection of other people becomes less and less because you know that you’re following after what Jesus wants you to do.

That is all that I have for you this week. Make sure to jump back on next week. You can subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you are notified every time a new video comes out. Next Thursday, we will be back with a video all about forgiveness and bitterness, because I think that this is something that the enemy uses on the daily to really change the way that we can impact our world and stop the impact that we can make on the lives of other people and the growth that we have in our Christian walk. So I hope that you guys will join me for that, and I will see you guys next time.

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- Ashley Varner

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