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“More Than Conquerors” Episode 5, “Overcoming the Fear of Rejection”
Hello and welcome to our series, “More Than Conquerors.” This series is about overcoming and conquering fear. Today’s Episode 5, is entitled, “Overcoming the Fear of Rejection.” One reason I am doing these episodes on rejection and its attendant fears is because I hate bullies. The devil is a bully who has used rejection since the beginning of time to intimidate, threaten, and hold people back from fulfilling their dreams or just enjoying the life that God wants them to live in abundance. So, if that describes you or someone you know, you need to listen to this and future episodes. I will share some of my personal experiences with overcoming rejection and hope others will share theirs. My name is Stephanie Wright. Let’s get started.
Thank you for joining us today as we continue our series, “More Than Conquerors.” This study is about overcoming and conquering fear. Over the next few episodes, we will explore what the Bible says about rejection; what is rejection; what are the roots of rejection; how does one overcome rejection and its attendant fears; and I will share some personal experiences with rejection and how I overcame and am still overcoming it. We encourage you to listen to previous episodes for a more in-depth understanding of this series.
Let’s start with the obvious question. What is rejection? Everybody has experienced rejection in one form or another. Simply stated, rejection happens when a person wants something from someone or wants something to happen and they are told “no.” The synonyms for the word rejection are myriad: rebuffed, spurned, abandoned, forsaken, deserted, shut out, excluded, shunned, ostracized, cold-shouldered, ignored, snubbed, and the list goes on. I almost started laughing at all the ways the word rejected can be described. But, it really is not a funny matter. Rejection can be devastating for some people and the fear of rejection can be paralyzing because it can scare you into believing if you were rejected once, you will be rejected again, so why even try.
But, where did rejection begin? Jesus tells us in Luke 10:17-18, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” It is believed that Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 14:12, “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how you are cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!” Isaiah 14:13-15, goes on to say, “For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Yes, rejection began in heaven with Lucifer (“morning star”) whose name was changed to Satan (“adversary”). He said he wanted to lift himself up, above God. And, of course, we know that wasn't going to happen. So, Lucifer was the first to reject God through rebellion. He was kicked out of heaven lightning fast but the evil of rejection came with him to earth. Fear came with him too. In Episode 2, of this series, we saw that fear was the first emotion Adam and Eve experienced after they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam said (after God called him) “I heard your voice and I was afraid.” Genesis 3:10. And lest there be any confusion about it, when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Adam was standing right there. Genesis 3:6, says “she [Eve] took of the fruit and did eat and gave also to her husband “with her.”
So, do you see the pattern here? Satan is cast out of heaven (his perfect home) to earth for rejecting God; he convinces Eve first then
Adam follows, to reject what God said (you will die if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil); and then Adam and Eve are kicked out of their perfect home, the Garden of Eden. but he
was assigned to an eternity of torment because he could not be redeemed. Revelation 20:7-10. The evil that came with him was rejection because he rejected God. The scripture says in Genesis
3:1, the serpent was subtle, that is, crafty and cunning. He used his subtlety to do to Adam and Eve what was done to him. But the story ends poorly for Satan because he cannot be redeemed back to
his heavenly home while Adam and Eve are given a redeemer, Jesus Christ, to restore them back to God and heaven.
I have said before, that although these Bible accounts occurred thousands of years ago, some things never change. Rejection led to a war in heaven between Lucifer and his angels and God and his angels and we are still in a spiritual warfare today. Rejection was a tool Satan used to pit people against people thousands of years ago and he is still using it today. But, rejoice because next to love, we are closest to God when we experience rejection because as we see, rejection was the first attack God experienced from his own creation. We should remember that when we are experiencing rejection or the fear of rejection. We have something in common with Almighty God.
While that should give us some comfort, we still need to know how to handle rejection. Is there an antidote for rejection? First of all, what is an antidote? If you are poisoned, you are given something to counteract the effects of the poison in your system. So, when you have the poison of rejection trying to take over your emotions, your mind, your very existence, you need an antidote to counteract the process. You need a rejection-injection from God. What did God do when he was rejected? He forgave mankind from rejecting him. Yeah, yeah, I know, it was Adam and Eve, not you who rejected God but come on, be honest, if we had been in the Garden of Eden, we would have rejected Him too. So, God forgave them because of His love, He sent His Son and the Son came willingly to give his life for our rejecting the Father. Finally, praise is the last ingredient to wiping out the ravages of rejection. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to love and forgive somebody who has rejected you, but giving God praise is like a salve on the sore of rejection. Praise is the balm of Gilead. Jeremiah 8:22 is a poetic reference to the balm of Gilead as a plea for healing. Also, praise is what God created us to do in the beginning. That is what Adam and Eve were supposed to do, give God praise. Revelation 4:11 says, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure, they are and were created.” Also, Lucifer was supposed to be a chief musician and worship leader. While there are arguments for and against this, supporters point to Ezekiel 28:13, which reads, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes [speaking of Lucifer] was prepared for you on the day you were created.” So, if he was the chief musician and worship leader, God lost his chief, celestial praiser, and his earthly praisers, that being, Adam and Eve. That is why I believe praise is so important to God in the midst of rejection. Praise restores heaven and earth back to where it was intended to be in the first place. God loves praise so much that, “He inhabits the praises of His people.” Psalm 22:3. So, if we are to overcome and conquer rejection and the fear attendant with it, we need to forgive, love, and praise. In order to do that, you need to know the greatest one to conquer rejection. Of course, that is Jesus Christ. As I was preparing this section, I thought about an announcer at a wrestling match introducing the two contenders. Jesus Christ in the corner to the right and Satan in the corner to the left. All the people in the arena in need of victory over the fear of rejection are crying out for Jesus to be the winner and of course. The demonic forces who were proponents of fear and rejection were rooting for the devil and rejection. The match, however, would be quite uneventful because Jesus would knock the devil and rejection out with just three words, “It is finished.” John 19:30.
Yes, the fight between Jesus and the fear of rejection was over before it had begun. Jesus defeated rejection for us at the cross. By the time he got to the cross, it would be an understatement to say he was an expert at defeating rejection. Think about the number of times Jesus was rejected: 1. He was rejected even before he was born because there was no room for the King of Kings in the inn so he slept with the animals. Luke 2:7;2. He was rejected by those in his own hometown; they took offense at him, scoffing at him looking down on him as just a carpenter, no different from the townspeople. Mark 6:1-6;3. He was almost stoned to death after teaching from Isaiah 61:1-2, in the synagogue when he told them the scripture was now fulfilled in Him. Luke 4:16‑30, reads, “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.”4. He was deserted by his disciples, those who said they loved him; mocked by soldiers with a crown of thorns dug into his head; beaten in his face until he was unrecognizable; beard pulled out; spit upon; his flesh ripped from his body with cat‑o‑nine tails; hung on a cross like a common criminal, naked for the whole world to see. (John 19; Matthew 26:56; John 18:22; Matthew 26:67-68; Mark 14:65; Luke 22:63-65); Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:22-26; Mark 15:12-15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:15-16; Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1). 5. And of course, he was rejected by his own people who called for him to be crucified.This man who performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, opened the blinded eyes, came to his own and his own received him not. Is there any greater rejection than from those who are supposed to love you? Everyone has suffered some type of rejection in their life, but is the rejection we have suffered really anything to be compared to Christ’s suffering? We are going to be rejected, we are going to suffer. But, we are reminded that if we are going to reign with him we must suffer with him and rejection is a form of suffering. 2 Timothy 2:12, also says, if we deny him he will deny us. To me that says, we must accept and go through rejection without whining and without putting it all over social media for the world to see. One other thing we should not overlook. Some of the rejection we experience, we bring on ourselves, but Christ did nothing to deserve the rejection he experienced. So, rejection was defeated at the cross. We should remember that we are not only soldiers who will suffer in battle, but we are servants. Our rejection should be a testimony to encourage and strengthen someone else who is going through the suffering of rejection. Furthermore, don’t forget we have a great big reward when this war is over - a new heavenly home and eternity with God. Romans 8:18 reminds us “that the sufferings [rejections] of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We will close this episode with my personal testimony of rejection. In my lifetime, I have experienced rejection so many times, on so many levels, and from so many people, even those who said they loved me. And you know what, I have probably – no, not probably, I have – rejected others. For this I am sorry. This study has made me realize I do not want to be in league with the devil. That is what we do when we reject others, we play right into the game Satan pulled when he rejected God, and when he led Adam and Eve to reject God. Make up your mind that you will be more sensitive to others and not reject them when it is in your power to do so. All rejection is not bad, some rejection is necessary. But rejection that is mean‑spirited with the intent to hurt others is demonic and I will say it again, it comes right out of the devil’s playbook in trying to destroy others. John 10:10, says, “The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Let’s be life-givers by refusing to hurt others with Satan’s tool of rejection.
Okay, so here is my rejection story. How do you respond to rejection? Well, this is how I responded in one instance where I was overlooked for a promotion. I was cool. Of course, I had someone who was kind enough to let me know in advance of the announcement that I did not get the position. The person who had the power to give me the promotion went out of his way to find someone other than me for this newly created position for which I had more than eighteen years of experience. No one in the office applied for the job either because they knew it should have been mine or they just weren’t interested. I prefer to believe it was the former reason. But the person who denied me the promotion eventually lost his job. A big shake-up in the system developed and he had to reapply to keep his job. He had more experience than the person who applied to replace him, nevertheless, the less experienced person was chosen. To add insult to injury he was given a moment’s notice to clean out his office and hit the road. He was gone, I was still there. I was so glad I didn’t act a fool when I wasn’t selected. I was also glad the person they chose instead of me became a good friend. I helped her whenever she needed me. Prayer made the difference for me. In fact, I was given a personal assurance from the Lord that it was all going to be just fine. But, that’s another story for another time. The bottom line, my God vindicated me. When you are faced with rejection, you need to be prayed up, fasted up, Word‑ed up (in your Bible), you need to be walking with God. Even if you aren’t doing the aforementioned things, try to remember to not act the fool. That is what the devil wants you to do. Trust me, if someone is digging a ditch for you, it won’t work. That’s their ditch unless you decide you just want to go jump in it. Please, don’t do that. Give God time and most of all, give yourself time to see God work things out for you.
We have a few more areas to cover on rejection and the fear of rejection. So, please stay with us as we continue into our next episode. And if you have a story of how you conquered rejection and its fear, we would like for you to share it with us. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is Stephanie Wright. Until next time, may God’s love, peace, and protection be with you, and remember, we are “More Than Conquerors.”