His wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!'
Miserable comforters are you all!… My friends scorn me; My eyes pour out tears to God.
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it... But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.
And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.
'Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?' So they were offended at Him.
Even His brothers did not believe in Him.
Whether from arrogance, jealousy or ignorance, Christians will suffer betrayal by friends--and even family.
'Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved' (Matthew 10:21-22).
These Words of Jesus are hard to read. Surely, they are meant for others and not us. Tell that to Job, Joseph and David: Bible heroes loved by God but hated by kin. Tell it to Jesus. But then again, He told it to us first.
How can this be? When Adam and Eve bit into the fruit that divided them from God, sin bit into our hearts and did the same thing. Only Jesus, 'The Repairer of the Breach' (Isaiah 58:12), can unite us. Only submission to Him can heal a divided heart.
When loved ones betray us, our hearts feel broken--but theirs was broken first. Because the source of the break is not them, but him, as in Satan: 'The accuser of our brethren' (Revelation 12:10); 'The father of lies' (John 8:44); 'The deceiver of the whole world' (Revelation 12:9)--including our families, if they are susceptible.
So how do you accept rejection from those closest to you? Like God's stars: Forgive them. Love them anyway, but move on. Keep your eyes forward, and be about your Father's business. Because He loves them more and better than you possibly can.
He will present them with opportunities to repent: to turn in His direction, to heal their broken hearts. Eventually, Job's family and friends embraced him. He lived an additional 140 years in joy and prosperity. Eventually, Joseph became the Governor of Egypt. He was put in the position to save and reunite his family. Eventually, David became the greatest king of Israel: the ancestor of Jesus.
And Jesus? Two of His brothers became famous followers. Eventually, His family has grown beyond any human measurement, 'That He would be the Firstborn among many brethren' (Romans 8:29).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: don't let dream haters stop you. Neither stop to help them. Because God can help them better. Eventually, the light of your path will become evident, and that may be the best ministry of all.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Rejection series.