Enduring Friction

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Is it really possible to prevent our hearts from hurting?

Being rejected is a difficult pill to swallow. In most cases, it leaves that weird sensation of having something stuck in our throat. Each time we swallow, it’s there, reminding us of the sting only rejection leaves.

Truthfully, I’m new to this whole rejection thing. Not that I haven’t had my share, but in the past I would bend over backwards to avoid offending others and would jump at the opportunity to make it right. I simply couldn’t just sit in the muck of unresolved conflict. But in the past few years, the Lord is teaching me that a little friction here and there can be healthy, although it certainly isn’t pleasant.

Thankfully, we have a Father who understands what it feels like. Isaiah 53:3 says, He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. And yet, it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer. (v.10) 

The rejection Jesus faced wasn’t pleasant either. I’m sure He’d much rather have been welcomed with open arms into every city He went. He would have enjoyed the Pharisees recognizing Him for the long awaited Messiah He was. It would have felt good to be accepted as King of the Jews.

But if that had been the case, how well would He relate to us? Not very much, I’m afraid. His suffering by rejection served a purpose – to empathize with the hurt we feel at times. We know He can identify with our suffering. He’s familiar with the dull ache hitting the pit of our stomach when we hear…

…you’re not good enough.

…you’re a failure.

…you’re nothing special.

He understands what it’s like to reject those lies by replacing them with the truth of God’s Word:

I am worthy. (Psalm 139:13-15)

I am valuable. (Matthew 6:26)

I am precious. (Isaiah 43:4)

Jesus silenced the critics with scripture. He knew that conflict was par for the course in His journey, and it is for ours as well. John 16:33 says, In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. We can expect to experience rejection, pain, and difficulties. But we call also expect to be loved, accepted, and comforted by the God of the Universe. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

The answer to the question above is no – it’s not possible to prevent hurting hearts. Relationships will go through rough spots, harsh words will be said, and poor choices will be made. But the good news is, just like ointment relieves rug burns, God’s love is a soothing balm for the heart enduring friction.

Lord, thank you for Your Word that reminds me that I will have trouble in this world from time to time but that You have overcome it all. I can find peace in knowing You understand what it feels like to endure hardships and will give me the strength to do the same.