October 25, 2012
Overcoming the Fear of Rejection
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” - (Romans 8:37 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I can still remember when God first gave me a glimpse of what my future held. Writing, speaking, radio ministry, mentoring. A host of insecurities rose to the surface and the fear of rejection wrapped its fingers around my skinny neck. But God assured me I was not alone, and He was perfectly capable of doing everything He promised. I only needed to be obedient and say “yes” to Him.
We have only to flip through the pages of the Bible to see that overcoming the fear of rejection is a thread that runs through the record of history.
- Noah overcame the fear of rejection when he obeyed God and built an Ark on dry land.
- Abram overcame the fear of rejection when he left his homeland with no clear direction as to where he would go.
- Jacob overcame the fear of rejection when he returned to his homeland and his brother whom he had deceived.
- Joseph overcame the fear of rejection when he refused Potiphar’s wife’s sexual advances.
- Moses overcame the fear of rejection when he went before the Pharaoh and demanded the Israelites’ release.
- Joshua overcame the fear of rejection when he told the army their orders were to march around Jericho in silence for seven days.
- Ruth, the Moabite, overcame her fear of rejection when she gleaned wheat in the field of a Jew.
- Samuel overcame the fear of rejection when the people decided they wanted a King rather than God to be their ruler.
- David overcame the fear of rejection when he offered to slay Goliath.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego overcame the fear of rejection when they refused to bow and worship King Nebuchadnezzar.
- Esther overcame the fear of rejection when she went before the king to plead for the lives of her people.
- Each and every one of the prophets overcame the fear of rejection as they delivered God’s message of judgment to the people.
When we turn the final page of the Old Testament and look into the New Testament, we see the same pattern of courage. Jesus, his disciples, Paul, and the expanding body of believers all faced and overcame the fear of rejection. Paul’s attitude was “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks! “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:31, 33).
And then the ultimate rejection occurred when our Lord and Savior hung on the Roman cross. “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). But Jesus overcame the fear of rejection and the result was his glorification. He knew crucifixion was imminent. Just before He was arrested Jesus prayed with His disciples: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you,” (John 17:1). He didn’t mention His rejection and death on the cross that was ahead of Him. He prayed that God would be glorified. That was foremost in His mind and on His heart. Likewise, I believe that we overcome the fear of rejection when glorifying God is foremost on our minds and in our hearts.
The apostle Paul faced rejection at every turn. In his letter to the Thessalonians he wrote:
“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts,” (1 Thessalonians 2:2-4).
Whether it is sharing the gospel or the scars of our past, there will be some who do not accept us. We certainly are not above the prophets in the Old Testament or the disciples in the New. Not everyone liked what they had to say, but they pressed through the fear and walked in faith. It is because of them we have the gospel at our very finger tips!
Dear LORD, thank You that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Help me not to give up when times get tough, but to persevere with endurance. I know that not everyone will like me or what I have to say about You, but I pray for the courage and the power of the Holy Spirit to speak when You lead and to keep quiet when You lead. Help me know the difference.
In Jesus’ Name
Now It’s Your Turn
Can you think of a time when you gave up too soon?
Is there an area in your life where you might need to pick back up where you left off and get busy?
Has the fear of rejection kept you from obeying God in some area of your life? If so, what are you going to do about it?
If you are ready to say “yes” to whatever God is calling you to do…it’s time to say it out loud! Click over to my blog page and leave a comment on today’s entry. Tell me what God is calling you to do and I’ll pray for you as you begin!
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God– Find peace and purpose in the hurts of your past. Do you feel like God is calling you to tell your story? Are you reluctant to say “yes” to what God is calling you to do in ANY area of your life? This book can give you the courage you need to say “yes” to God. Read a sample chapter or watch a video at http://sharonjaynes.com/store/products/your-scars-are-beautiful-to-god/
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