Discouragement. Rejection. Torment. I don’t know of anyone who enjoys those things. We want to be accepted, encouraged, and valued; at least by those in our circle. And when we are not, it should lead to a time of reflection. Why am I facing rejection from the people around me?
It may just be because I am not a very nice person, and I need to change. And if that is the case, by all means, work at being a better person. But it might also be because you are faithful to God’s calling in your life. And if that is the case we need to resist the temptation to change to become more acceptable to the people around us. Few of us like to be outcasts, and the temptation is great to do what it takes to fit in. But it is far better to follow Paul’s example here.
Hard Pressed, but Not Crushed
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV
Paul had some who supported and encouraged him. But there were also many others who fiercely opposed him. Later in this letter, he gives a brief summary of some of the difficulties he faced in sharing the gospel (2 Cor. 11:22-27). But through it all, he remained faithful. When he was hard-pressed on every side, he was not crushed. And why not? Because he knew whom he had believed, and was convinced that God was able to guard what Paul have entrusted to him until the end (2 Tim. 1:12). And that should be our attitude as well. Don’t be discouraged by the rejection of others. Put your trust in the Lord, knowing he will guard your soul until the end.