Rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.
~1 Peter 2:4b NKJV
What kind of hardships and pain have you suffered in your life? I ask because I believe experiencing difficulties and pain can be an incredible gift if you choose to look at them from God’s perspective.
Jesus did just this….
Our Savior experienced unimaginable sorrow and pain in His life. He was crushed, not only in his physical body but He also suffered in His deepest inner self. Some men rejected Him. Regardless of His circumstances, Jesus was victorious because He saw His sufferings in the light of His Father’s perspective. He knew His mission in life was to suffer and die on the cross to save us from sin and death so we could experience eternal life with Him. The horrific things He endured on the cross for us God used for a great purpose. Jesus’s death on the cross is the greatest gift this world has ever seen.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
~John 3:16-17 NKJV
When I think about the suffering I have experienced in my life, I would say rejection has caused me a significant amount of pain. It seems to play a significant role in many of my experiences. The rejection I have experienced led me to act like someone I wasn’t in order to to be accepted.
I used to feel the need to fit in and be a part of everything, yet I always thought that I never really fit anywhere. Any particular group I was a part of, I would still feel like an outsider. I experienced deep feelings of unworthiness, worthlessness, insecurity, and hopelessness. These feelings caused me to seek everyone’s approval. If there was ever a moment of conflict with anyone, I would be incredibly fearful in the situation, since my identity was based on what other people thought about me.
Today, I thank God for the rejection I experienced. Had I never felt the sting of rejection, I might have never come to a proper understanding of my identity in Christ. My identity isn’t based on what people think about me anymore. It is based on what God thinks about me, and this makes all the difference. The Lord has given me plenty of friends that fully accept me for who I am.
I no longer feel the need to fit in everywhere and be a part of everything. I learned that I fit just fine wherever God puts me. He has also given me deep compassion for those who have experienced rejection in their lives. He never fails at giving me the right words to minister to these people since I have walked a similar way. Most importantly, I have learned that God will never reject me, even if there are people who do.
Without a doubt, the trials and sufferings in my life have driven me closer to God and equipped me to minister to people who have walked through similar hardships. God’s Word says, “All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort. He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 TPT).
Going through dark circumstances has been incredibly challenging. Still, I will never ever regret a single second of having been in the dark if it means those experiences brought me closer to God and equipped me to pull someone else closer to His light.
My challenge to you today is twofold:
- Ask God how He sees you. Let His perspective sink deep into your soul. By receiving the deep love God has for you, this will change your life. This is your true identity.
- Ask God to send people into your life He wants you to minister to concerning this very subject. God knows everything you’ve gone through, and He is more than able to do mighty things with the simple prayers you bring to Him on behalf of those He sends you to.
Pain…it’s a gift. How do we know this? When we identify with the Lover of our souls who walks with us through life, and who never abandons us during even our toughest moments, we know even these agonizing moments He guided us through will become a blessing and a calling to minister. As He sends us to bind up broken hearts, we can thank Him for the pain.
What is a painful situation you’ve experienced? Has God called you to minister to people in this same area?
Prayer: Father God, please cause my challenging experiences to bring me closer to You. As I lean into You, I pray that You will fully equip me to minister to the people You put in my life who have struggled in similar ways. Work through me to pull hurting people closer to Your light. In Jesus’s mighty Name, Amen.