Bible Reading: Philippians 4: 10-14
I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. Philippians 4:13
WHEN HANNAH graduated into the high-school group at church, she never clicked-or rather, she never fit into the tight cliques of the group. She started going to another church with a friend, but she always felt like an outsider. Now Hannah has drifted away from church completely-and nobody from either church has even noticed.
You aren’t abnormal if you want to have friends and be liked. Like every other human being, you have a built-in need to be significant to others. And unless you are highly unusual, at times you have faced situations that are painful because you are left out. Ridiculed. Or ignored. How you handle those predicaments either makes you stronger or sets you up for further hurt.
Jesus Christ is a friend who knows what rejection feels like. Isaiah described him this way: “He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care” (53 :3). Can you feel something of what Jesus must have felt? He was hated by many. He was slandered by religious leaders-some even claimed that he was the devil! When he was nailed to the cross, he endured ridicule and mockery from heartless crowds. And even those he loved the most turned their backs on him.
So when you are rejected, ridiculed, or ignored by others, your dear friend Jesus knows better than anyone else what you are going through. He’s there with you, sharing your hurt and reaching out to comfort, encourage, and strengthen you in brutal times. Jesus not only knows about the loneliness of rejection, but he’s also the answer to it. He’s the one true friend who will never dump you. He will never reject you. By growing a friendship with him, you gain the greatest source of strength you can ever find. No matter how others trash you, you can always survive because you have a deeply trusting friendship with Jesus. Not only will you survive, but you will thrive and gain new strength through Christ.
Keep this truth in mind: “This High Priest of ours [Jesus] understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4: 15). When you’re fighting a losing battle, ask Jesus to give you strength. And make this statement from Paul your motto: “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Philippians 4:13).
REFLECT: Have you felt rejected and alone today? Are you being ignored or ridiculed by a family member or friend?
PRAY: Pour your feelings out to Jesus. He’s the one who understands, cares, and acts compassionately on your behalf.