3 Keys to Conquer Rejection

“Then all the disciples forsook him and fled”. Matthew 26:56 ESV

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, every one of his disciples abandoned him.

Even after three years of walking the same road, sharing countless meals and hearing life-changing words spoken directly to them.

After Jesus invited them to share in his miracle-working, world-transforming mission.

After he freely offered them hope for each day and eternal life in his kingdom.

After he was patient with their short-comings, ignorance and unbelief.

After they promised never to leave. They all did just that. They ran away to protect themselves, leaving their teacher, friend and savior behind.

But being rejected by his friends at that harrowing moment didn’t deter the Lord one bit.

Jesus Knew What Was Coming and Didn’t Flinch

Jesus wasn’t deterred because he was prepared. We see this in Mark 14:27-31:

And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. (Mark 14:27-31 ESV)

Their spirits were willing, but their flesh was weak (Matthew 26:41). You know the story. Peter follows Jesus as he is questioned about being a follower. But he emphatically denies even knowing him. He couldn’t even admit his association with Jesus to a lowly servant girl.

We have all denied Jesus in one way or another, and it is painful when we realize what we have done. We choose temporary human acceptance over God’s everlasting acceptance over and over. We are insecure and ashamed.

But let’s not get into that right now. Instead, let’s camp out on what Jesus did when frail humans like us preserved themselves and abandoned him.

Long before he prayed in Gethsemane for the last time, Jesus had prepared himself to be all alone with his pain on the night he was betrayed.

Yes, he chided Peter, James and John for not being able to stay awake and pray with him for a while as he agonized over his upcoming death. But even though he wanted their support as he prayed, he was never dependent on it.

Jesus knew what was in man (John 2:24) and he knew better than to entrust himself to them. He also knew from the beginning who would betray him (John 6:64).

But none of his foreknowledge about Peter or Judas or anyone who turned away from him changed how he lived his life or how he carried out his mission. He wouldn’t let it.

Standing Strong in Spite of Rejection

in John 8:28-29 during a conversation with the Pharisees, we find out how Jesus was able to stay strong during his time of greatest need, despite the massive rejection all the disciples.

28 So, Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”

We can glean these three nuggets from those two verses:

  • What Jesus came to do was God’s idea, not his own.
  • Jesus carried out his mission just the way he was taught by his Father.
  • Jesus was never alone or abandoned because his Father was always with him.

When we are rejected, abandoned or betrayed by people who are supposed to love us, we can follow the example of Jesus. We can stand secure not letting mistreatment by others get us off track.

If we implement these 3 keys, no one can stop us from being and doing everything God has planned for us.

3 Keys to Conquer Rejection

  1. Remember that God has called you for a unique purpose and mission. (Ephesians 2:10)
  2. Rejoice that he gives you his Word and Spirit to guide you every step of the way. (John 14:26)
  3. Rest assured that your Father will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5-6)

In our darkest hour, we have hope. The coming of a bright dawn is inevitable. It may be dark on Friday, but Sunday’s coming!

5 Simple Steps to Cutting Your Holiday Stress

Is Holiday Stress Inevitable?

The holidays can be stressful! And they’re starting earlier and earlier every year, like in September, have you noticed?

That means that the stress can start earlier as well.

I searched the internet for “holiday stress” to find advice. The articles I came across were more about what to do once you’re already stressed out, rather than how to avoid the stress in the first place. But it doesn’t’ have to be that way!

We can reduce the holiday stress by doing a few simple things before the holidays run us over!

Some simple preparation and focusing on what’s most important will go a long way to preventing that anxiety from taking the joy out of the season!

5 Steps to Cutting Holiday Stress

5 Simple Steps To Cutting Your Holiday Stress:

Step #1 → Remember the Reason for the Season

Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or some other special day, remember why. It’s not really about gifts, parties or food!

Christians are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on Christmas. He was born over 2000 years ago in an ordinary stable in a small town and laid in the animals’ feeding trough to sleep. Though he was King of Kings, he came as a humble child.

This scene of peace is meant to point us to the Savior of the world. We celebrate his birth because of what his coming to earth meant for the world – salvation. Not just at Christmas, but always.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:1)

Whichever reason for the season means the most to you, if you keep it in the forefront of your mind, the stress of the season is less likely to overwhelm.

Step #2 → Schedule Family Times First

Schedule dates for your own family traditions and gatherings before committing to other holiday events. That way, it’s less likely these cherished family events don’t get pushed out by a company party you have to attend or a church volunteering commitment.

Your children will treasure these special family times forever!

You might also be interested in my 20 Fun and Meaningful Holiday Family Traditions for some ideas for memories you can create.

Step #3 → Schedule Outside Events After Family Events

  • Make sure everyone in the family is aware of the schedule, so you don’t overbook and stress out!
  • Post a physical calendar in a common location, so it’s in plain view every day.

I found a fun calendar that’s also super practical: Sandra Boynton’s Mom’s Family Calendar.

The days are in horizontal lines, instead of little squares, giving plenty of room to add everyone’s important happenings!

Click here for a closer look!

Mom’s Family Wall Calendar 2019 – $9.98

Here are some of the activities that you might need to add to your calendar during the holidays:

  • Parties with friends
  • School productions
  • School parties
  • Special religious services
  • Volunteering
  • Work-related parties
  • Vacation days
  • Extended family gatherings and more!

Step #4 → Prepare Meals Ahead and Freeze Them for Busy Nights

Make a double batch of dinner for several nights and freeze half. Then all you have to do is defrost!

If you really want to get ahead, make a couple of weeks or a month’s worth and glide right through the holidays!

Here’s a super popular cookbook that takes it to that next level. You can see more here.

Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook Revised and Expanded Edition by [Fisher, Jessica]
Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook

Step #5 → Give Yourself a Break!

Add relaxation, rest and rejuvenation into your schedule.

  • Schedule time that isn’t focused on the season. Not everything has to be holiday-themed! Take a break.
  • Exercise. It’s a stress-reducer, especially if you can get outside and enjoy the fresh air and beauty around you at the same time.
  • Don’t trade sleep for tasks. Your body needs good rest to replenish its stores of energy. Pare down the schedule if it’s interfering.
  • Eat well. We sometimes grab what’s in front of us when we’re busy and it’s usually not that healthy. Keep fresh fruits, veggies and nuts around for energy-giving snacks.
  • Relax. Get a quick 15-minute shoulder and neck massage while you’re at the mall or schedule and hour! Or, click here to treat yourself to one of these so the gift just keeps giving! My son gave me one of these neck massagers this year and it’s an oasis of relaxation!
Massagers for Neck and Back with Heat  $64.95
  • Remind yourself that you’re not in a competition. In many ways, our culture has manufactured the stress of the holidays. You don’t have to participate in the race!
  • Accept that you can’t do it all. It’s just not humanly possible to accomplish everything on the to-do list before Christmas. It’s OK!
  • Enjoy! laugh and have fun as much as you can. If your kids are small, ignore their tantrums (they get stressed, too) an focus on the wonder.

Hope these 5 Simple Steps To Cutting Stress Out of Your Holidays have helped you!

If so, would you please share this post? Thank you!

See also:  20 Fun and Meaningful Holiday Family Traditions

I’d love to hear some of the ways you cut stress during holidays in the comments below.