Rejection by those you hope to disciple is hard to experience and makes it difficult to move forward in the Lord’s work. Jesus knew this firsthand when He began teaching the disciples about making Him their first priority in John 6:53, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” Because they missed the spiritual import of this statement, “many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him” (6:66).
Paul knew the same rejection. “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:10). Both of these cases were very personal, which inflicted a deeper hurt. This was different from a whole nation turning their back on the gospel because there had not been the personal investment.
I want to issue a warning against holding expectations too tightly and not leaving your work in the Lord’s hands. Our anchor must be in the Lord and the truth of His Word, not in people. Peter compares our lives with “All flesh is like grass and its glory like the flower of grass, the grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:24). Hold firmly to God’s Word, irrespective of what people may or may not do.
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