gospel, Pain, rejection, salvation

The Wounds of Rejection

1 Sam 16:10: Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”

This week, I listened to Dr Dharius Daniels the lead pastor of Change Church on a topic he titled: “Infection from Rejection.”

Dr. Dharius preached from the book of 1 Samuel, Chapter 16 which narrates the story of David’s call by God from a dejected shepherd boy to a King. The Lord had rejected Saul as the leader of His people and has selected a son in the house of Jessy and in 1 Sam 16: 1, he commands Samuel:  Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

It is hard to imagine what each of Jessy’s seven children went through. Eliab the firstborn is said to be a man so well put together that when Samuel saw him, he thought that he was the one God had chosen, only for the Lord to reprimand him.  “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Eliad faced a first hand rejection for a position he had never even asked for. The other five brothers must have received the news that Prophet Samuel had come to anoint a King and each one of them must have groomed themselves to look their best before being summoned by Jessy.

But alas, when Samuel had seen all the six of them, the Lord revealed to him that there must have been one more. When Samuel saw Shammah, the sixth son he said:  “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 

And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”  Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”   1 Sam 16:9-11

It is possible that even Jessy had underrated David because he was the youngest.  It must have been even harder for David to believe what was going on. He had lived as an outcast in the family as he cites in Ps. 69: 8: “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children.”

Dr. Dharius explains that rejection is a symptom of past hurts and pains and that it manifests in many ways and mostly in personality types. It is a tool the enemy uses to wound the soul causing deep internal bleeding finally killing the person’s faith and identity. Dr Dharious says “A cut may not kill you, but the infection will.”

 From the wounds of rejection, some people become cold-hearted refusing to love and to accept love, others self-centered, selfish and angry. The opposite is having people-pleasing traits and low self-esteem which makes people overextend themselves to please others to gain their acceptance and love.

Dr Dharius underlines that Christians ought not to be surprised when rejected for even Jesus, the son of God, the most perfect, kind, giving, loving even unto death was rejected. However, they must seek the Lord for healing for Christ was rejected on their behalf.

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely He has borne our griefs. And carried our sorrows. (Is 53:3-4).

David came in as a last result even to his own father . Believers need to trust the Lord in all things because He does not make a  mistake.  It does not matter if you are the last to walk through the door. When the oil of anointing is upon you, the Lord will pull you from the bushes to be the position he has for you.  When David appeared from his shepherd duties, the bible says he was glowing and his eyes were bright.  They all stood to the accepted of God…for no one sits when a Kind walks in!

Featured resource: An Infection From Rejection: by Dharius Daniels

gospel, salvation

Saving Grace: My testimony of salvation.

Elizabeth Cirani

There is no way I could have been cleansed. No one could have paid my debt of sin. As I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost, you looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross… now all I know is grace. (All I have is Christ by Jordan Kauflin ).

My testimony is not an attempt to condemn any religion. My story is to share what I believe and why.  Prior to receiving Christ as a personal savior, I was a religious person.   I had been taught that my doctrine was the only true one.  I thought everyone was going to hell except those of my church.   Then, I failed the religion, myself and more importantly God.

I was 20 years old when I conceived my firstborn child Jessy out of wedlock. As a result, I automatically became an outcast in the church I had grown in and served.   I could not join in Holy Communion, could not sing in the choir or have my child baptized.

According to the doctrine and the teachings I had received, if Christ was to return then, my son and I would go straight to hell.  This was scary! I felt hopeless and lost.  I needed something, anything that could cleanse me of my sin and get me back to the religion that I had known all my life.

So I would attend mass, sit in the pews follow through the recitations, then go back home, feeling hopeless and condemned.  Eventually, I stopped attending church altogether.

I was working as a registry clerk with a broadcasting station when I  got a government scholarship to join college. While there, I met young ladies my age.  They seemed happy and content. During their lunch-hour break, they would either be going to a prayer meeting, to a bible study or fellowship.

Among these young ladies, there was one who was much older than the others. Her name was Peninah and we had something in common. She had gone through the same challenge of falling pregnant before holy matrimony.  However, her case was different.  Her church accepted her back,  she later got married in church and after that she co ntinued with serving in church as a born-again Christian.  When I shared my story therefore, she resonated with what I was going through. She committed to inviting me to the Christian fellowship meetings.  Sometimes I would go, sometimes I would not.  She remained patient and kept inviting me and did not judge or reject me.

It was one Wednesday afternoon.  Peninah and the other girls had left for a lunch-hour fellowship.  I pulled out a novel from my bag and began to read.  A few minuted later, my deskmate, a man who did not care about God walked in to the class.  Muiru was a fun easy going person and in one of his loud jokes said: “Elizabeth, you must be one crazy girl.  How dare you sit here when all your friends have gone to church? Get out and go join them.”  This may sound weird but I left and I heard him chuckle behind me.  I think I just left because he simply annoyed me but later, I understood that the Lord was using him to push me out of the class and the novel reading to Gods calling of salvation.

I joined the fellowship half an hour late, walked through the back door and sat at the back of the room.  The speaker stood in front of a full packed classroom. Everyone was attentive.  In front of me were young men and women, who sat attentively listening to the word of God.  They then arose and raised their hands and voices in worship and prayer.

I do not remember anything about the message of the day but what I remember is that at that moment, I knew I was different from the rest of these young  people.  They looked happy and seemed to have so much hope and confidence. I was convicted of my sin and I knew needed forgiveness.

After the closing prayer, all the students left quicky to be on time for the afternoon lessons.  The speaker remained behind to pack his items.  I  dashed to the front to catch him before leaving.  He quickly  introduced himself as John Wesley Nguo and asked me what I wanted to which I responded: “I want to get saved.”

John dashed out and called a few of the students that had not left.  I could hear his voice, almost panting with excitement: “Hey ! some of you come back! we have a new soul!”

I was led to say a prayer of repentance.  Many years later, I can say this was not my effort, the Lord was pursuing me while I ran my hell-bound race as the bible clearly states:  “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” (John 6:44-45).

That Wednesday afternoon,  Christ embraced and healed me of sin, rejection and shame.  He taught me that there is nothing I could do to earn His love except to accept His saving grace. He gave me peace a new name, the forgiven, the accepted of Christ.  No one could have paid my debt of sin.  Not religion, not good works, but  Jesus with His Precious Blood.

The bible in the book of Isaiah 1:18 says: “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” Right there, a burden rolled and my sins were forgiven –  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8).

My soul became alive that day.  I had a friend and a father His name is Jesus. He has never left me, He has never forsaken me. He has remained closer to me than a brother.

I can only share what I know and who He is. He is real. He is true. He is alive.  “He made [me] alive, who was dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1).

Song: Jesus paid it all/Fernando Ortega

NIV Bible