Recently, I was on Facebook scrolling down my newsfeed, checking to see what my friends and family were up to. I only scrolled for a few seconds when I noticed a picture of a few friends out to eat at a restaurant. They seemed like they were having the time of their lives. I sighed. And then I thought to myself, “How come they didn’t invite me?”
I felt rejected. Sure, I like social media. I enjoy checking Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and following the lives of people that I know, people that I don’t know. But I notice that if I spend too much time on social media, I’ll fall into the comparison trap, thinking that everyone’s life is more awesome than mine.
You will face rejection.
I’m talking about the feeling of being excluded, or when you’re denied something that you want. The world is set up to increase your discontentment and so, as Christians, you and I must ask, “How do I deal with rejection?”
I propose an unconventional route — theology. In particular, through the doctrine of election. As Jeff Vanderstelt says, “When you feel rejected, remember your election.”
What is election?
It feels good to be picked, doesn’t it? Captain of the team, asked to take on a leadership role, a promotion at work. Someone picked you! It’s a beautiful feeling to feel chosen, to feel noticed.
And yet, when we look at the doctrine of election, we can go even further.
Election is, as Wayne Grudem defines, “An act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign and good pleasure.”
The God of the Universe choose to save you before time began, without any work of your own doing, and it is a gift that you don’t deserve, and would have never chosen for yourself. God saw that you were a liability, not an asset, and still picked you.
God choose you.
No one else may pick you ever again for anything, but God did, and nothing can remove his grip on your life.
You know, it’s sad that the doctrine of election is more often debated than celebrated. But when you look at all the New Testaments texts that deal with election, it is always set up for comfort, for encouragement, for reason to ascribe God the glory.
Indeed, if you grasp this doctrine — if you meditate on it daily, if you think about it regularly— it will give you enough joy to last now until eternity, and help you cope with any sort of rejection that you may experience.
A Gentle Reminder
The theme of the letter of 1 Peter is persevering in faith through suffering and persecution. Many of the Christians Peter addresses are dealing with verbal abuse and discrimination because of their Christian faith. Basically, the unbelievers around them are rejecting them for their beliefs, and they’re not not shy about telling them.
Peter, one who witnessed the sufferings of Christ, and who himself suffered a lot, starts his letter by saying:
“To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyania, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Peter 1:1).
To those who are elect.
It’s not unimportant that Peter starts his letter this way. He doesn’t start with an imperative; he starts with an indicative. No commands, yet. Just a reminder.
A gentle reminder.
A great reminder.
A glorious reminder.
Peters starts with the doctrine of election.
The Holy Spirit perfectly penned this truth through Peter, and this is God’s way of assuring you that, one way to deal with rejection is to remember your election.
You will be tempted to feel rejected over and over again. Maybe you are in one of those seasons right now. Maybe you feel the pressure of social media justification. Or maybe you’re still struggling with rejection from your past. Either way, the doctrine of election is the remedy for your weary soul. Think about is regularly. Yes, Christian, the next time you feel rejected, remember: God chose you.
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