As the times become more cold, and love ekes away, many people may find they are feeling rejected for their faithful witness to Jesus. They may feel sorrow and betrayal. These are hard things to bear. We are all human, and we all want to feel loved for who we are, but sometimes, because we are human, we are rejected instead. Or maligned. Or misunderstood. Or any of the myriad of things that a population of diverse people feel when they are thrown together and have only one common bond: Jesus.
But what a bond!
Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Recently I was thinking of when He was alone in the Garden and everyone fell asleep even though He had asked for company. And later, how Peter said he didn’t know Him, denying Jesus three times. That had to have hurt. I thought about the universe’s most ultimate betrayal, Judas. I thought of Jesus saying to Judas, “What you must do, do quickly.” (John 13:27).
You see, Jesus KNEW Judas was going to betray Him, but He loved Judas perfectly anyway. That is a powerful model of love. If I knew I was going to be betrayed and rejected ahead of time, would I love the people all the same? I’m human but sinful and Jesus was human and sinless. Therefore I know I would not.
Jesus came to earth SO THAT He could feel these things with us. Did you know that? We focus on the salvation aspect of His time on earth and His sacrifice as the Lamb. But did you know that He is not only Messiah, but also High Priest? He was fully God and fully Man and He came to feel every emotion that we feel. Hebrews 2:17-18 says “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
He wanted to feel everything we feel so He could be the most faithful High Priest, not only to save us but to sympathize with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now let that stop us for a moment. The God of the Universe poured Himself into human skin to live a full life, so that He could save us by dying, but before that, to feel what we feel as we are tempted.
When you are feeling lost, lonely, sad, rejected, tempted, betrayed, angry, bitter, or anything else, remember, that when we pray to Him, He is there. He knows. When we feel betrayed, He knows. He has been there. He serves God as our High Priest, interceding for us in a way that is fully empathetic. He is God, yet He came to us as fully human this so He could empathize with us in our times of sorrow. Are you not floored by knowing this?
Know this also, Psalm 56:8b- “Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” He not only numbers the hairs on your head but sees and knows every tear shed in His name.
Psalm 34:18- “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” So, just knowing He WILL do it, helps us until He does it. That is faith.
Are you crying in your own sorrows right now? This from Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Your face may be wet today, but he will dry it Himself on that Day! Isn’t it worth the wait, and the tears, just knowing He will fulfill His promise to wipe them away with His own hand? If your tears feel large to you today, just imagine how small they will be when His hand erases them into oblivion and gives you perfect peace.
And finally, remember the Love chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. Love bears all things. Love means we have to open ourselves to people and love them, even knowing that rejection, betrayal, sadness and hurt will come along with that. We don’t like it, but Jesus said to choose this kind of love as an expression of the Gospel He came to proclaim. His hurt and betrayal was so monstrous, how can we then complain of ours? We cannot.
Begin praying for others. Pray for missionaries in places where their mission will bring them death. Converts in the dangerous places where their faith may bring them imprisonment or worse. Praying for others in worse circumstances helps us put our things into perspective; HIS perspective.
The key is to focus on Jesus. He is the lens through which all trials are put into proportion. He gives comfort and He gives a Kingdom perspective, of eternity. Prayer helps and prayer works, because the Spirit brings to mind his Word, and his Word is always the triumph over all. Why? It is the greatest love letter ever written, and relying on it through submission to and by the strength of the Spirit revives even the poorest, saddest child of Jesus.