Dealing with Rejection

Dr. Anthony W. Adams
Dr. Anthony W. Adams

Lance Armstrong said, “A boo is a lot louder than a cheer.” The fact is in our lives we all will face rejection.  Sometimes we are rejected because of our conduct and actions, while other times the reason is much more illusive.  The prophet Samuel faced rejection.

“When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel.  His firstborn son’s name was Joel and his second was Abijah.  They were judges in Beer-sheeba.  However, his sons did not walk in his ways- they turned toward dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.  So all of the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, ‘Look, you are old, and your sons do not follow your example.  Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have'” (1 Samuel 7:15, HCSB).

The elders first said that Samuel was getting old and maybe it was time for a change.  They also said that his sons were not leading in the way that he led. The boys were not following their father’s example.  It is obvious from the Lord’s remarks that Samuel felt very hurt and rejected (1 Samuel 8:7). He took this rejection as a personal affront to himself.  The elder’s remarks intimated that they were dissatisfied with his leadership.  Evidently they were tired of him.  He had done so much for them and now that he is older they want to get rid of him.  At least that is the way it seemed to come across to Samuel.  The Expositors Bible stated regarding Samuel’s feelings, “It was a personal affront, it was hard to bear.  The whole business of his life seemed frustrated; everything he had tried to do had failed; his whole life had missed its aim.  No wonder if Samuel was greatly troubled” (Blikie, W. G., 1900, p. 114).  The fact is Samuel was facing rejection.  As I said earlier, everyone will face rejection at some time in their lives.  The question is how should the Child of God deal with this rejection.

The first thing we should do is follow Samuel’s example and take this matter to the Lord in prayer.  After Samuel had prayed the Lord helped him to see the matter differently.  “They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king.  They are doing the same thing to you that they have done to Me” (1 Samuel 8:7-8, HCSB). Very often when we pray to God, he helps us to see our situation in a different light.  There are times when God will show us that this is not something that should concern us. At other times the Lord shows us the things in our lives that need to change.

The second thing we should do is be prepared for rejection.  Jesus told the disciples that they would be rejected by the world.  He reminded them that the world had rejected Him and that the followers were not different than the master.  On one occasion Jesus said, “You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends.  They will kill some of you.  You will be hated by everyone because of my name” (Luke 21: 16-17, HCSB).  You must understand that when you stand for Christ you will stand out from the world, and often this will cause the world to stand against you.

The third thing is to ask God to strengthen us and give us the courage to stand in the face of rejection.  Paul said, “For I m not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, HCSB). Sometimes in the heat of rejection we will compromise our stance and belief in order to fit in.  An extreme example of this is with Peter, standing by the fires of the enemy, denied not just being a member or disciple of Jesus, but of even knowing Him.  The apostle Paul continually faced rejection and criticism from his countrymen, but God strengthened him and helped him to not be ashamed.


How should believers handle rejection and the subsequent hurt and pain that is often experienced?

7 Replies to “Dealing with Rejection”

  1. I agree that we should deal with rejection first through prayer. Also by keeping in mind that Jesus was also rejected. (Mark 6:10 & John 15:18-19) Our heavenly father knows the pain of rejection, his own message and son had been rejected and is still being rejected all over the world. This is why evil exist, because Jesus Christ our savior was rejected by many.
    As a believer, being rejected can really be painful but God has given us his word and life living examples to know how to deal with rejection and the pain that goes along with it.
    First of all, Jesus warns us ahead of time that we will be rejected. (Luke 21:12-15) Jesus said, “By standing firm you will gain life” Luke 21:19.
    Someone like Paul who suffered in horrible ways knew this truth: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” Romans 8:18
    Paul also said, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ: Galatians 1:10
    Ah but in the end, God makes everything new, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” Revelation 21:4
    ~I am thankful that I have not been rejected by the one who matters the most, Jesus Christ my savior!

  2. Hello Rhonda,
    I really appreciate your insights concerning this subject. So many people, under the heat of persecution and rejection, become disturbed, distressed, and fail to stand firm. What a wonderful promise from Luke 21:19, if God’s people will stand firm. It is my prayer that we will not give up on what God has promised. Galatians 6:9 stated, “Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up” (CEB).
    Question: What are some ways to stay encouraged when facing rejection and everything within you wants to quit?

    1. It’s only by the grace of God that I can find encouragement and stand on his word. If I am being faced with rejection by a person or a group of people then I give them over to God because otherwise it’s like going against the waves and it gets very exhausting and everything in you gets drained. I have dealt with this by many, including my own daughter. I have to make sure that my heart (wellspring) stays guarded- Proverbs 4:23.
      In Tony Evans book called, “God is More than Enough” , Tony writes, “When God allows you to be in the valley of the shadows, where things are dark and you just want to die, (give up) remember that HE has given you a gift. When God traps you in the shadows, it’s there and only there that you get to see who God really is. Job found this great mystery out too. Once you find out who God really is then your soul is restored (or being restored) just like David said. Psalm 23. A little over a year ago rejection really started to take root in my life. I cannot explain it but it was an awful place to be. Now looking back, by God’s grace and love for me, it was the best place to be. My soul (spirit) was healed and I got to learn more about my heavenly father!

      (Isaiah 40:31)

  3. Being ignored, laughed at, mocked at by friends that I have had for a very long time, they are one by one turning their backs on me. Whether at my work places or neighbors, family members as they all have done this to me, I only pray for them continuely as I ask GOD, for their salvation and for more of HIM to shine thru me. I know that I will be pushed aside, made fun of, that has not bothered me so much as them not knowing the truth. being blinded… I have seen it daily as I talk to others about GODS love for them and how they react. The things they say! In conclusion, I have not been saddened or dishearted by all this rejection and turning away from me from my wonderful friends, for I know it is to happen and nothing that I ever could bear, could any way be even a 10000th of what Christ has done for me. So thankful that our tears GOD will wipe away, for losing family to satan is not what I want to think about.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Sometimes rejection can be rather complex. One example is some have a tendency to read rejection into things. For example, a cancelled appointment by a friend or family member, an ambiguous statement can and sometimes are misinterpreted as rejection when many times it is not. And let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to read people.
      I believe God desires to set us free from the trap of living to please men, and bring us into the freedom of living to please Him. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 stated, “We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts” (NIV). When we finally get ourselves free from this trap, it is amazing how good life can be.
      Thank you for this very insightful post.
      Dr. Adams

  4. Frist we need to go to God in prayer. I know people that has rejected me. But that ok because God will never rejected me He love me so much and I love him. Thank you for this bible study and thank for all you for my family. Love you guys Becky.

    1. Hi Becky,
      Like it said in our study, it is amazing how our perspective changes when we have taken our hurt and rejections to The Lord. Hellen Keller said, “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”
      Dr. Adams

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