Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rejection Test

I know several people who are going through a trial of rejection: some by spouses, some by friends, others by employers.  In a fallen world, rejection is inevitable. But do you know it is one of the ways God tests our faith?  I call it the “rejection test.” Everyone must take this exam.  The patriarchs all took the rejection test—Job, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, all the prophets—and passed!  And Jesus was not exempt from the rejection test either (2 Pet. 2:4).

Jesus was rejected by his family and hometown (Lk. 4:16-30) and by many followers who could not accept His "hard sayings" (Jn. 6:48-59). His claims to be the Messiah were rejected by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and by the Sanhedrin who delivered Him to Pilate for execution. And when Pilate offered to free Barabbas or Jesus, the fickle crowds chose the former. Isaiah sums it up: “He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (53:3).

Peter tells us how Jesus passed the rejection test: “If you suffer for doing good [when you are unjustly rejected] and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered [was rejected] for you. He is your example; follow in His steps… He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly” (1 Pet. 2:20-23).

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