“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” –1Peter 1.6-7
There seems to be no lonelier place than the den of rejection — few trials more painful and few trails more uncertain. And for us, as Christian women – wives and mothers, the enemy is at his fiercest when we give in to despair or, worse, self pity in the face of rejection. If we’re not tempted to retaliate, then we’re likely tempted to be defensive. If we don’t give in to self pity, then we’re probably headed down any of a number of other destructive roads — either literally or mentally.
Rejection is happening all over. It seems the devil is pulling out all the stops in his prowling around to see whom he may devour — and a devourer he is (or seeks to be!).
In a recent conversation, comments were being made regarding the number of marriages undergoing strife or, worse, separation and the incredible number of people in conflict in some manner or another. And I observed that never in my life have I witnessed such damage in homes, friendships, marriages, churches… not to mention the moral decline of society all around us. It’s staggering. It’s distressing.
So what do we do? What should our response, our reaction or action be regarding these things?
Puzzled, I recall the scripture that tells me to rejoice. Rejoice? Rejoice at rejection? Rejoice that things are falling apart all around me? Rejoice that there is so much division and squabbling? Rejoice that there are so many messes? Rejoice at all the loss? Rejoice at the decline and decay?
Rejoice: I am to rejoice and be exceeding glad. Not at the rejection. Not at the particular mess. Not at the sin or the gossip or the slander. Not at the loss. I am to rejoice in my Saviour. I am to greatly rejoice even when I am in heaviness through manifold temptations.
He has made a way… He is the way. I need to remember this. I need to live this.
1Peter 4.12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:”
2Peter 2.9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”
I reminded in John 16.22 that no man can take my joy from me. He is my joy. And that I am the only one who can determine to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The devil only dwells in and dictates my thoughts if I let him and if I entertain his devices and his intent to destroy.
I cannot — I must not — do that, for I am to: (1Thessalonians 5.16) “Rejoice evermore!” I am to “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice!” –Philippians 4.4
Ultimately, I know that I know that I know: I want to please the Lord — I know I want strong faith and I know I want to honour Him. So my response to trials and testings and temptations must be filtered through 1Peter 1.6-7 so that I will be: found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.