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Pointers along the way #687

Rejection, acceptance, ministry

- Jacob Ninan

How did David come to become a man after God's own heart? How did he get to know God's heart so well that we see poured out through his psalms? Perhaps his experiences as he grew up will give us some clues.

David was a handsome man with many natural abilities such as in music, boldness before danger (1Sa.17:34,35), valour and strategy in warfare (2Sa.17:8), etc. He was the youngest of eight brothers in his family, and neither father nor brothers thought much of him. We see this because when Jesse, David's father, presented his sons one after another to Samuel who had come to anoint the next king of Israel, he had not thought of David as a possible candidate until Samuel pressed him for it (1Sa.16:10,11). Another time, when David took some food for his brothers at the battle front, his eldest brother derided him saying that his place was with the sheep (1Sa.17:28). So David's portion in life at that time was to be alone with the sheep, despised and rejected by his family. But many of his psalms were born out of this experience. Loneliness and the derision of his family led him to find his comfort and consolation from God. That was where his faith grew, and his frank exchanges with God helped him to know the heart of God and His ways.

Joseph was sold off as a slave by his brothers, and for the next thirteen years he went from one calamity to another. But he got to know God through those tough circumstances and he did not give up his faith, till finally God raised him to the position of leadership in Egypt.

Like a lot of people do, these two men could have complained about their lot in life and become bitter with God and turned against Him. Instead they chose to make God their refuge and strength and thus triumphed in their life. Not only that, they both became sources of great blessing to people around them and examples to millions later on.

In God's scheme of things, calamities are also things that can be turned around to bring good (Ro.8:28,29). But this does not happen automatically without our cooperation, because if we become bitter, it can turn us away from God. But if we look to God at such times and receive the comfort He will give us, we can become so enriched in our lives that we can begin to comfort others (2Co.1:3,4). I have noticed that several people who have come to me for counsel after suffering the consequences of rejection by parents, siblings, school teachers, spouse, etc., when they find acceptance and comfort from Christ, want to become counsellors themselves.

When we suffer and there is no human being to turn to, there is God to whom we can turn, who stands waiting to welcome us to His embrace (Mt.11:28;Re.3:20). His comfort is of an eternal nature, not only helping us in our present trouble but also giving us eternal treasures (2Co.4:17) such as knowing His heart and having fellowship with Him (1Jn.1:3). It fills us with gratitude for God's grace He has freely given to us and leads us to further depths.


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