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
Bethany didn’t know what was up. She was hanging out at home on a Friday night feeling more than a little bored, so she tried calling some of her friends. Oddly, none of the girls were home. She hadn’t heard that anything special was going on. But it was like all of her friends had just vanished.
Bethany tried not to worry about it, but the next week at school one of the girls let it slip that they were all at Jasmine’s house for a slumber party. Jasmine’s mom told her she could invite five friends, and Bethany was the one who had been left out. She felt like she’d had a big red “L” painted on her forehead: Loser.
You’re normal if you want to have friends and be liked. Like every other human being on earth, you have a built-in need to be important to others. And at times you are likely to face situations where you’re left out. How you handle those painful times can either make you stronger or set you up for further hurt.
Talk about it: What do you think Jesus knows about rejection?
You’ve maybe never pictured Jesus Christ as a friend who knows all about rejection. Isaiah, however, 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” (Isaiah 53:3).
Can you feel a bit of what Jesus must have felt? We may see him as our Lord who was always worshiped and adored. In reality, many people rejected him—and still do! The religious leaders of his day accused him of horrible things—some even claimed that he was the devil! When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he endured mockery not only from the soldiers but from the heartless crowds. Some of those he loved the most turned their backs on him.
So when you feel rejected, ridiculed, or ignored by others, remember that your dear friend Jesus knows better than anyone what you are going through. He not only knows about the loneliness of rejection, he’s the answer to it. He’s right there with you, sharing your hurt and reaching out to encourage you. He’s the one true friend who will never let you down. No matter how hurt you are, remember Christ is there to comfort your hurt—he really understands what you’re going through!
TALK: Is it hard to imagine that Jesus—the powerful Creator of the universe—understands and cares about what you’re going through? Why or why not?
PRAY: Jesus, thanks for understanding, caring, and comforting us when we hurt.
ACT: Do you have feelings of rejection you want to tell Jesus about? Talk to him now—and pass on to a lonely friend the comfort he provides.