It is a significant accomplishment when we can view our suffering and pain as a gift.
Jesus did. He 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. However, despite His circumstances, He was victorious because He saw His sufferings in the light of His Father’s perspective. Jesus knew His life mission 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 that Jesus endured on the cross for us were used for a great purpose. His death on the cross is the greatest gift that this world has ever seen.
Rejection has caused me much suffering and pain in my life. Looking back, rejection seems to play a significant role in many of my experiences. The fruit that came from the rejection that I felt and experienced led to me acting like someone I wasn’t just to be accepted. In high school, I couldn’t sing well, but I joined the choir so I could feel accepted and a part of something. In many of my relationships, I’ve rejected the person I was in a relationship with because I was afraid they wouldn’t like me for who I was, and in turn, reject me as a friend.
I would get a boyfriend then break up with him before he could break up with me so I wouldn’t feel the sting of rejection when we inevitably broke up. I felt the need to fit in and be a part of everything, yet deep down I always felt that I never really fit in anywhere. Any particular group I was a part of, I would always feel like the outsider. In any relationship, I would always wonder if that person accepted me for who I was or if they were friends with me because they secretly felt sorry for me.
I would feel self-pity for myself because I always felt so alone. I was starved for love and tended to blame God for everything that went wrong in my life. I didn’t realize that God did not always orchestrate bad things that happened and that sin in the world could have something to do with it. 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 people thought about me.
I thank God now for all of the rejection I have experienced. If I had never felt the sting of rejection, I might have never come to a true understanding of my identity in Him.
If you have experienced rejection or have suffered hardships in your life like I have, I want to challenge you to take those painful experiences and look at them in the light of God’s perspective. This trial could be something that He is using to equip you so you are able to effectively minister to the people that He puts in your path later on. There’s so much power in meeting someone, hearing their story, being able to say “I’ve been there, too,” and then going on to effectively minister to them because you have walked a similar path.
Aren’t some of the primary goals in the life of a believer to grow closer to God and be used by Him to minister to the people that He puts in our lives? I know without a doubt that the trials and sufferings in my life have driven me closer to God and equipped me to minister to people that have walked through similar hardships that I have. I will be eternally grateful for that.
Going through dark circumstances have been incredibly challenging for me, but I will never regret a single second in the dark if it means that those experiences led me closer to God and equipped me to be used to pull someone else closer to the light.
Experiencing rejection can be seen as an incredible gift if you choose to look at it from God’s perspective. It has helped me realize that I don’t have to act like someone I’m not in order to be accepted. People still reject me, but my identity isn’t based on what they think about me. My identity is based on what God thinks about me.
He 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 have found that I fit just fine where I am. God has given me deep compassion for those that have experienced rejection in their lives, and He never fails at giving me the right words to minister to those people since I have been there.
My challenge to you today is to ask God how He sees you and then let His perspective sink deep into your soul. Doing that will change your life. As you start to get a handle on your true identity, start praying and asking Him to send people into your life that you can minister to in regard to this very subject. God has eyes. He sees you. God has ears. He hears you. He knows everything, and He is more than able to do mighty things with the simple prayers you bring Him.
My prayer for you today is that your dark experiences will lead you closer to God. As you lean into Him, I pray that He will fully equip you to minister to the people He puts in your life that have struggled in similar ways you have. In doing that, my prayer is that the Lord will use you to pull people that are hurting closer to Him.
Written by Brandie Muncaster
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on storiesofredemption.com
Featured Image by Priscilla du Preez