Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of January 14, 2007

Psalm 69:20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

David could have used a friend in Psalm 69. But because of shame and disgrace, his friends had forsaken him. He was alone and rejected. One of the hardest things for us to deal with is the pain of rejection. Of course, this verse likely speaks prophetically of the Lord Jesus who was rejected as well. One of my friends has written this about John the Baptist who suffered feelings of rejection while he was in prison:
Although we do not welcome the feelings of rejection, they do give us some insight as to how Christ felt. And I think that it helps us to identify with Him and others. I believe that part of the reason for the pain in this world is so that we will have a tiny glimpse of what it cost Him to become one of us and die for us. If our lives were always rosy, we could not enter into His suffering. It would be something we read about, but never felt. He wasn’t rejected just during those three years or on the cross; He is still being rejected today by people who owe Him so much. Year after year, in heart after heart, He is rejected.

I recently was thinking about John the Baptist. God called him to a work. It was a lonely work with only a brief flash of recognition. This man who spoke God’s truth, this man whom God had called, this man about whom prophecies were written, was called to a lonely life and a sacrificial life. And he couldn’t drink wine or cut his hair or touch dead things. Now, some of that isn’t so bad, but the hair-thing certainly had to make him stand out. He lived in the wilderness, ate bugs and honey, wore coarse clothing, had no worldly goods, and had no friends. But those experiences fortified him for the path God had chosen for him. He would not have stood up to Herod if he were a wimp.

He began to do God’s work, and people came to hear him. Some of them probably supported him. Some became his friends/disciples. But as he did what God called him to do — point to Christ — his friends began leaving him and going to “the other side”. This man who had lived in the wilderness without friends was now losing the friends he had.

Then speaking the truth got him thrown in prison. That had to be lonely. And this man upon whom God had placed a special anointing began to doubt whether he had pointed to the right man. If Jesus was God, why didn’t He deliver him or rescue him? This One who healed the blind and raised the dead did not seem to care about him. Jesus said He had come to set the captive free. Well, here was a relative who was a captive and there is no record that Jesus even visited him during those long months. He let him languish in a damp, dark cell, a prisoner to adverse circumstances.

But Christ was following a plan His Father had given that did not include getting involved in political situations. He was about spiritual things. And John, who had become well-known, had to decrease, that Christ might increase. And the lonely times, the wilderness times, and the rejected times are decreasing times. As our self decreases, as it moves out, it leaves room for Christ to move in. He is the balm for our pain. He is the Samaritan who binds our wounds.

He is also the One who lauded John. “There has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” He is the one who pointed out John’s great strength of character. John was not a reed swayed by the wind and he did not run around in fine clothes. He was a prophet! God’s man.
Rejection can either make us or break us. Many who have been faithful to God have been misunderstood and rejected. So if you feel you are doing your best to do God’s will and if you feel that you are being rejected, just remember that you are in good company.

Bruce Collins

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