John 15:12-19: This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love no one has than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
2 Timothy 2:19-21: Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of the Christ depart from iniquity.”
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
REJECTION hurts, and it usually lingers for a lifetime, bringing our painful past into the not-so-perfect present, spreading like a wildfire, like cancer until it burns or infects the future. But GOD loves us, enough to FIND us, SAVE us, HEAL us, DELIVER us, REDEEM us, FORGIVE us, CALL us, DRAW us, and TRANSFORM us, SETTING US ASIDE, so we’ll be SET APART for His PURPOSE, His PLAN, His HONOR, and His GLORY.
Rejection is often cruel too—faceless, heartless, and soulless—overlooking us and telling us—we’ve been weighed, judged, and cast aside—because we’re not good enough; we’re illegitimate, unskilled, unqualified, crazy, mad; we’re lacking something; we’re all wrong; we’re unacceptable, unlovable, worthless, useless; we’re damaged goods—totally beyond redemption, forgiveness, favor, or repair. But this is not the case with GOD, our CREATOR, our FATHER, our BUILDER, our MANUFACTURER—The KING; this is not the case with His Son JESUS CHRIST, our ARCHITECT, our CRAFTSMAN, our STONEMASON, our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, our LORD, our BRIDEGROOM—The KING of KINGS, The AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH; or with HOLY SPIRIT, our DESIGNER, our GUARANTOR, our DISTRIBUTOR, our SEAL—The INDWELLER, The TEACHER, The INTERCESSOR, The COMFORTER.
GOD knows us, better than anyone else, because He searches our hearts daily, and He encourages and exalts us, telling us we’ve been SET ASIDE in this world because we’ve been SET APART for GREATER THINGS in the KINGDOM of GOD. So, if the world rejects us, we should count it all joy because we are not of this world; we’ve been CALLED, CHOSEN, CONSECRATED, and SANCTIFIED for GOD’s PURPOSE, GOD’s PLAN, GOD’s KINGDOM, GOD’s GLORY, and GOD’s HONOR. So, instead of being CONFORMED to the world, we are TRANSFORMED by GOD.
Even JESUS, the SON of GOD, was rejected in His earthly ministry when He lived, walked, preached and taught among men and women: His own family rejected Him, especially His brothers, who thought He was mad—a lunatic—and sought to take Him home, thus ending His ministry, because they didn’t believe in Him or perceive the truth, that JESUS, their earthly brother, WAS the SON of GOD, and they didn't believe in JESUS' mission, vision, miracles, or assignment. Only after JESUS’ crucifixion and resurrection is it recorded in the Bible that JESUS’ brothers finally believed JESUS was who He said He was. At this point, His family, including His brothers, are part of His ministry.
Then there were those outside of blood family who should have known JESUS better than any other—His friends and disciples: They knew JESUS on a daily basis but didn’t really KNOW JESUS intimately, despite being with Him for three years because they all scattered and deserted JESUS, leaving Him to face His greatest challenge, assignment, and adversary alone, so they could save themselves when He was arrested and sentenced to death; Judas had betrayed JESUS for money; Peter had denied Him three times out of fear. Only John, the one JESUS loved, followed from a distance but only as an eyewitness and later surrogate son for Mary the mother of JESUS.
Even on the Cross at one point, JESUS felt like GOD the FATHER had forsaken Him. But JESUS was never truly alone, for GOD loved Him, even in silence, even in His pain, His suffering, and GOD was always with Him, even in the wilderness when JESUS was hungry and thirsty; through all His earthly rejections, with His people—the Jews, His family—His brothers and sisters, His disciples—the Twelve, His friends—the inner circle—Peter, James, and John; throughout every false claim and injustice; throughout every strike of fist or whip, throughout every wielded word of mockery, throughout the piercings of every thorn in His crown and every nail driven into His hands and feet, because GOD had SET HIM ASIDE to SET HIM APART for GREATER THINGS.
And this is the case with each of us—believers in GOD, in JESUS CHRIST: We are not alone; GOD is with us, and when everyone else rejects us, including family and friends, we can trust that GOD loves us with an everlasting love, and He hasn’t rejected us, but He has likely set us aside, so we can be set apart for His use, His glory and His honor. We are not alone; we have Family in GOD, brothers and sisters IN CHRIST; we are not alone; we have a Friend in JESUS, a Companion in HOLY SPIRIT; we are not alone; we have GOD's WORD, GOD's LOVE, and GOD's SPIRIT; we have everything we need, from now until eternity--a Father in GOD, a Bridegroom in JESUS; a Mentor, Teacher, Comforter, and Intercessor in HOLY SPIRIT.
And this is really what we’ve got to remember when the world rejects us and hates us, just because we live for JESUS, for GOD: GOD is the BUILDER, the ARCHITECT, the DESIGNER, and the SEAL, and GOD made us FOR LOVING HIM and LOVING OTHERS, and GOD made us FOR GIVING. If we’re truly SOULED-OUT and living faithfully and sincerely for GOD, for JESUS, then when others in the world reject us, setting us aside, GOD will always exalt us, setting us apart…for GREATER THINGS.