Category Archives: Rejection

God’s Healing Hand On a Wounded Heart

Lord God, I kneel at your feet

Head resting in my hands

Tears of pain flowing without restraint

 

My soul, battered, is without hope

My dreams of love and acceptance gone

Success, I’m unable to define

 

You let me cry, uninterrupted

Knowing I must taste the bitterness of pain

And acknowledge its vise like grip on my heart

 

Slowly I sit,  lifting my head and hands up to you

an honest prayer is uttered, no more pretense,

pride and self-righteousness are gone.

 

“take my battered heart, oh Lord

It feels constricted and small

Like a piece of paper, crumpled into a ball.

 

It’s beat is irregular,

emphasizing the deep wounds

and my desperate state of mind.”

 

Your strong hands encompass mine

Comforting and warm

Applying pressure without pain

 

My wounded heart beats a little faster

A  rhythm I’m unfamiliar with

Steady, strong, sure, secure

 

You, oh Lord, massage the healing balm

Of forgiveness and acceptance into my heart

A spark of hope glows deep within.

 

The Holy Spirit breathes the breath of life

Into my heart, mind and body

Smoothing out the crumpled edges of my life

 

Lord God Almighty, you are the great healer

Of wounded hearts

Restoring hope and purpose to those who love you

 

To God be all glory and praise.

 

Debora Shelford Hobbs

Below are the lines from a chore in Jeremy Camp’s Healing Hand of God and a link to his video. Enjoy this beautiful song.

I have seen, The healing hand of God, Reaching out and mending broken hearts. Taste and see the fullness of His peace, And hold on to what’s being held out. The healing hand of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-aE7zQTeEg

 

 

Hope in our Frailty

God frequently uses people for His glory that we as humans would never choose. That fact gives me hope that no matter how insignificant, untalented, or floundering we or those we love might be, there is always hope. The bible is full of unlikely individuals that have made a vast difference in the world in spite of the odds. The very people you and I might pass over are often the ones that God chooses because he sees into the heart and chooses the ones that have a heart for Him. He doesn’t care about who we are, where we’re from, or how much money we have. With that in mind, who knows what God has in store for you and those you love!

A simple man with no big plans
No lofty goals consume him.
He didn’t come from wealth or gain
Nor high class education.
Most think he won’t amount to much
His future’s etched in stone,
But thank the Lord, God values man
By his heart alone.
A waitress working hard each day
Just trying to pay the bills.
She wasn’t born to silver spoon
Nor were her wants fulfilled.
Just working class and most would think
For her there’ll be no change;
But we don’t know, what God has planned
Nor what He has arranged.
God sees beyond her circumstance
Fulfilling hidden dreams.
Think about a fisherman,
Who worked in Galilee.
A simple man from lower class
He was no Pharisee.
He worked each day, just catching fish;
Obscure from most mankind.
Until the Son of God called out,
“Come fish for souls of man.”
From that moment forward
Peter was transformed,
When God perplexed the ways of man,
And shattered social norms.
David was the youngest son;
A simple shepherd boy.
He had no right to leadership;
Nor kingly path in store.
But God saw David differently
He cared not for mans rules;
For He knew David’s heart was right;
Humble, pure, and true.
God chose the one least obvious
To demonstrate His might;
And David’s place in history
Became Christ’s holy line.

 

God is not confined by man
We cannot know His mind.
He chooses those we least expect
To show that He is God.
He doesn’t look at privileged lives,
Nor beauty, fame, or brains.
He looks into the heart of man
And chooses in that way.
So if your life seems simple;
No wealth or fame in sight.
It really doesn’t matter,
For God only sees your heart.
Do you have a heart for Him?
A longing in your soul?
To serve and grow, to always change;
To give His love to all?
If you do, then rest assured
That God will bless you too.
And you will see what God has planned,
For someone just like you.

 

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

God’s Healing Hand On a Wounded Heart

healing-hand-of-god

I kneel at your feet

Head resting in my hands

Tears of pain flowing without restraint

 

My soul, battered, is without hope

My dreams of love and acceptance gone

Success, I’m unable to define

 

You let me cry, uninterrupted

Knowing I must taste the bitterness of pain

And acknowledge its vise like grip on my heart

 

Slowly I sit and lift my hands up to you

“Take my battered heart, oh Lord

It feels constricted and small from the wounds

 

Like a piece of paper, crumpled into a ball

No longer resembling its original purpose

Rendered of little value or use.”

 

Your strong hands encompass mine

Comforting and warm

Applying pressure without pain

 

My wounded heart beats a little faster

With a rhythm I’m unfamiliar with

Steady, strong, sure, secure

 

A healing balm of forgiveness and acceptance

Is  massaged into my heart

A spark of hope glows deep within

 

The Holy Spirit breathes the breath of life

Into my heart, mind and body

Smoothing out the crumpled edges of my life

 

Lord God Almighty, you are the great healer

Of wounded hearts and messed up lives

Restoring hope and purpose to those who love you

 

To God be all glory and praise.

 

Debora Shelford Hobbs

 

Below are the lines from a chorus in Jeremy Camp’s Healing Hand of God and a link to his video. Enjoy this beautiful song.

I have seen, The healing hand of God, Reaching out and mending broken hearts. Taste and see the fullness of His peace, And hold on to what’s being held out. The healing hand of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-aE7zQTeEg

God’s Great Symphony

Image result for pictures of a symphony
The flow of God’s timing released in our lives
Requires our trust and to stop taking charge
It puts faith front and center and God on His throne
And trusting God’s timing for He alone knows.

You’ve been praying and praying for that unsaved soul
You’ve been asking the Lord to set free all your goals
Rest and wait; He’s at work, in ways we can’t see
Its God’s perfect rhythm and timing we need.

If what we think is best, is not moving forward
If our hopes and our dreams are lost deep in the forest
Don’t give up, don’t despair, and don’t take control
Let the unforced rhythm, of God’s script, soothe your soul.

As long as we’re breathing, there’s a chance to touch lives
With each human contact we’re God’s hands and His light
Even if our lives seem insignificant and small
We’re notes in God’s rhythm and play a great part.

Each life in this world is wanted by God
The great and the small are equally flawed
He has ordained what each man’s roll will be
It’s the unforced rhythm, of God’s great symphony.

Rest where you are, move forward in faith
Submitting all outcomes; He knows the right pace
He hears all our prayers; holds our tears in His hand
As we wait on His timing He’ll help us to stand.

God’s timing is music, it’s a heavenly chorus
As we wait on our Lord, it is beauty before Him
We praise You O God, the true Great I AM
For only You know the beginning from end.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

My Child; Come Forth!

free

Call forth Your people, into their true purpose
Out of the tomb and the grave clothes that bind us
Strip off the chains that have taken us captive
Set free our purpose to blossom and practice.

Sometimes it’s comfortably safe in the tomb
Where no one can hurt us and failure can’t loom
But each life’s important to God’s perfect plan
And failure to launch is what Satan demands.

Life’s pressures and hurts have blinded our eyes
They’ve robbed us of purpose and bound us in lies
But God has a plan for you and for me
To unbridle our gifts and set our talents free.

Gifts aren’t just arts, or teaching, or leading
But also of serving, hospitality, and giving
Together we form an ornate tapestry
That blesses our God and proclaims His majesty!

Lazarus was done; he’d been buried for days
It seemed all was lost and there was no way
But God’s mighty power called him out of the grave
To start life again, to be new; to be saved!

Out of the tomb, our mighty God calls us
He say’s “Child come forth, be free from the darkness!”
Strip off the grave clothes and soar like a bird
Become what I made you and no longer fear!

Embrace who God’s made you; you’re His great creation
Blossom and grow in your purpose and station
Do all that you do, as unto our Lord
Not for worldly approval that will come and go.

Bless Your name Father, our Creator, our Lord
Its You, Mighty God that we will adore
May we be a fragrance of blessing to You
As we use what You give us, with hearts humble and true.

 

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

GOD GIVES LIFE RENEWED!

God  frequently  uses people for His glory that we as humans would never choose.  That  fact gives me hope that no matter how insignificant, untalented, or floundering a child, spouse, or even ourselves might be, we should never write anyone off.  The bible is full of unlikely individuals that have made a vast difference in the world in spite of the odds.  God sees as incredibly valuable the very people you and I would pass over because He looks deep into the heart and searches far and wide for someone who has a heart for Him.  He doesn’t care about who we are, where we’re from, or how much money we have.  With that in mind, who knows what God has in store for you or those you love!

A simple man with no big plans
No lofty goals consume him
He didn’t come from wealth or gain
Nor high class education.
Most think he won’t amount to much
His future’s etched in stone
But thank the Lord, God values man
By his heart alone.

A waitress working hard each day
Just trying to pay the bills
She wasn’t born to silver spoon
Nor were her wants fulfilled
Just working class and most would think
For her there’ll be no change
But we don’t know, what God has planned
Nor what He has arranged.
God sees beyond man’s circumstance
Fulfilling hidden dreams.

Think about a fisherman
Who worked from Galilee
A simple man from lower class
No big-wig Pharisee.
He worked each day, just catching fish
Obscured from most mankind
Until The Son of God called out
“Come fish for souls of man.”
From that moment forward                                                                                        Peter was transformed,
When God perplexed the ways of man
And shattered social norms.

David was the youngest son
A simple shepherd boy
He had no right to leadership
Nor kingly path in store
But God sees things so differently
From mankind’s human view
And He looked deep in Davids soul
And saw a heart thats true .
God didn’t choose the obvious
He chose what man rejects
When the youngest son of Jesse
Became a mighty King.

God is not confined by man
We cannot know His mind
He chooses those we least expect
To show that He is God.
He doesn’t look at privileged lives
Nor beauty, fame, or brains.
He looks into the heart of man
And chooses in that way.

So if your life seems simple
No wealth or fame in sight
It really doesn’t matter
For God only sees your heart.
Do you have a heart for Him
A longing in your soul?
To serve and grow, to always change
To give His love to all?
If you do, then rest assured
That God will bless you too.
And you will see what God has planned
For someone just like you.
So yield your heart, turn back from sin
He’ll give you life renewed.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Hidden Within

Hidden Within

This poem deals with ugly things hidden within the heart. These hidden things hold names such as discontent, self pity, jealousy, pride, self-righteousness, selfishness, and greedy grasping, and that’s just a few. Though we may conceal these things to observers and even ourselves, they are never hidden from God; He knows our heart even better than we do.
This poem reminds me that we really are mere mortals and we are desperate for God’s grace.

HIDDEN WITHIN

I listened to her stories, of traveling here and there
Of seeing many wonders and having not a care.
I longed to live a life like that; to know that kind of blessing
And as I sat there listening, self pity washed upon me.
But as I walked away from her, God opened up my eyes
He showed me my ungrateful heart and in disgust I sighed.

Oh God why do I struggle with discontent and greed?
I’ll never comprehend the grace that You extend to me.

He sat there all in smiles, excited with success.
A new promotion, a big ole raise, his life is now the best!
I thought that he was bragging to tell us all like that.
I sat there with the fakest smile; distain was in my breast.
I walked away and asked myself…why do I act that way?
Am I that mean and petty? My heart sunk in dismay.

Oh God why do I cringe at… success for someone else?
Forgive me Lord, please change me! This icy heart, please melt.

I listened to the story… knew it was barely true
Each so called fact that was described was exaggerated and skewed.
I wondered why he worked in lies; my heart filled with disgust
I sat there wrapped in righteous pride, my patience huffed and puffed.
But when I walked away from him, the veil fell from my eyes
I saw my own wrong doings and I broke down and cried.

Oh God my God why do you care for one as frail as me?
I’m overwhelmed, can’t comprehend, Your love that sets me free.

Just hearing her go on and on about her kid’s success
Set my skin to prickling, my heart had some contempt.
I walked away and asked myself just why I felt that way?
Was I that small and jealous? My heart sunk in dismay.
What’s wrong with me, why do I act so selfish and with pride?
I hung my head and felt ashamed; I wished that I could hide.

Its times like these my feeble heart will never understand
The mercy and the grace God gives, in spite of all my sin.

The project was my baby, I was so proud of it
And when she took the credit, rage filled within my chest.
Speaking up before I thought, I set the record straight
And in a flash, I looked so bad; I’d taken Satan’s bait.
I slunked away angry and hurt; I hated her that day.
But as I stewed God gently came and washed the pride away.

Oh Lord why do I strive for, importance be-fore man?
I don’t know why You love me, when I fight against Your plans.

Lord, open up my eyes to see what’s hidden in my heart
Help me to change and grow in grace; please give me a new start.
Help me to stop comparing… my life compared to others
To be content with what I have, know-ing that others suffer.
Help me to grasp the fact of why You’ve put me in this world
Its to exalt Your name alone… not to exalt myself.
Help me to lay down all my pride and with You, humbly walk
To know You’ll raise up who You want, and in that I must trust.

May I help someone else succeed… even if I don’t.
May I rejoice in wondrous news that’s good for someone else.
Fill my heart with thankfulness so I might not forget
The blessings that you’ve given me and in those, be content.
Help me stop the judging of, somebody else’s heart
And may I live each day, O God, displaying Your pure heart.
May Your spirit fall on me and color all I do.
Help my eyes to see the truth; bid hidden sin, adieu.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Hope Has Come!

When the Messiah died like a common criminal, the disciples were confused and lost but when they saw their Lord alive after three days of devastation, it changed their lives so profoundly that they too were willing to die for their faith.  When we don’t understand what’s going on in life and when trials and pain challenge our faith know that there is always a purpose.  It may not be visible at the moment but it will come clear at some point…in the same way Jesus’ death became clear to his followers after He rose.  This poem is written from the perspective of one of the disciples.
Keep the faith!

Hope Has Come!

We followed Him with all our hearts, left homes and jobs behind.
To reach the world and say to all Messiah’s come to us!
But here we are this lonely day with eyes turned up to blight
As He hangs there without a breath; Broken…crushed… He died.

I thought He was Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord
He was to set our people free, bring justice to the poor.
But here we are a pack of fools; our faith is mocked and tried
What did we miss, how can this be, why did he bleed and die?

In shame we went to hiding… huddled in our fear.
We didn’t know which way to turn or what our futures held.
But in our darkest hour, light rushed in like a wave
And praise the Lord…He rose again, the Tomb’s an empty grave!
He isn’t dead… oh no, He lives; our hearts and souls are saved!

How did we miss the meaning, of His death on that cross?
The shame and pain He suffered, He bore it for us all.
Each sin and pride-filled moment, each stubborn, willful heart
Each secret thought He brought to light; resentment, greed… He crushed.
He bore it all, that spotless Lamb for sinners … just like us.

My life is now forever changed by what I’ve seen and heard.
I know the truth; I’ve seen what’s real, all doubt is washed away.
So what will I remember when trials rule the day?
That things are seldom what they seem, a bigger plan’s at bay.
For fear and dark confusion, shall not hold me for long
For my God reigns, He’ll never change, in that hope I shall stay.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

 

You Are Beautiful, just like you are



Rejection sneaks into our lives and bit by bit undermines our confidence.  It fosters the belief that we aren’t needed and that we have little to offer both God and man. As we feel more and more rejected we devalue our talents, and withdraw from relationships.  This devastating stronghold delivers failure into every area of our lives because it causes us to perform at a fraction of our potential.  When we buy into the lie of rejection the devil realizes a mighty victory because in our hurt, we withdraw from our place in God’s army, leaving a gap in His strong front THAT ONLY WE CAN FILL. 

We will never overcome rejection solely by forcing other people to talk to us nicely or treat us better.  After all, we cannot control the heart or words of others. The reality is that we only control the decisions we make and how we behave in the midst of painful situations.
Rejection and its devastating effects will stop when we finally reject, rejection.
After all, if we were good enough for Jesus to die on the cross, then we are good enough for the world… even with our imperfections.  Remember, God created you just like you are…for a divine purpose that only you can fill. 
  
Lately I have been binding the stronghold of rejection and am already sensing a restoration in my heart. None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes, we can irritate others, and our talents can always improve; but we must keep putting ourselves out there and we must not give up. We must walk upon the lies of the devil and make our talents and relationships available to God, letting Him worry about who accepts us and who does not.  We cannot allow the enemy to shut us down. We are the salt of the earth; you are beautiful just like you are.  Let your life shine out for the entire world to see; like the old song says…”Hide it under a bush, Oh no! I’m going to let it shine!”  Whether your talents and abilities are big or small, use them to their greatest extent and leave the outcomes to God.  He needs each of us, because together, we form a perfect tapestry.


Here is an example of how I have been praying. You can use the words as a guideline and insert whatever stronghold might be binding you:


Heavenly father I thank you and praise you for the relationships and gifts/talents You have given me.  Help me to see them and to allow You to use them fully. Thank you for seeing great value in me and for wanting to use me…thank you that You created me just like I am, for a purpose.  Thank you that in You, I can make a difference in this world.   I praise You that You are mighty and above all else. Forgive me for my sins and help me to forgive those that have hurt me. Forgive me for judgment in my heart that I am harboring against those that have hurt me and I bind the spirit of judgment in the name of Jesus. Help me Lord to grow and change in the areas where I am deficient and help me to be aware of those areas but not bound by them. 
In the name of Jesus Christ the holy son of God I bind the stronghold of rejection from my heart and mind and every area of my life and I loose the knowledge that I am fully accepted by you and that my gifts are good in your sight.  In the name of Jesus I bind every destructive word and action that has caused me to shut down and believe the lies of the enemy and I loose my heart and mind to understanding the truth of your word and the truth of your acceptance and your love.  Use each hurtful word and action for your glory and for great good. I bind every wall that I have constructed around my heart as a form of protection and I loose my heart to be open and vulnerable and available to You.  Use me for Your glory my God and change me and mold me into your image. Help me to know that my gifts and talents are not about me, but they are rather about furthering your kingdom and giving of myself to others, however great or small that may be. Lord help me to diminish in my own heart and give You and Your plans the first and foremost place in my heart instead.  I am asking for the strength to “put myself out there” without fear of how well or badly I may be perceived.
I praise you Lord that there is true freedom in You. Help criticism to make me better and show me how to respond to criticism.  I love you Lord and praise your name. I ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.  Cover my family and me now, with the holy blood of Jesus and protect us from any retaliation from the enemy for the things I have just bound.  Place a hedge of protection about us and hide us under your mighty wing.  AMEN.



Rhonda Shelford Jansen

God Loves You Like You Are!

Rejection’s a deceiver, it binds a once strong heart
It takes control of gifts and dreams and tears them all apart
It builds thick walls around the soul; PROTECT… is its great aim
For nothing ventured, nothing lost; seems the safest way.
Rejection fills the heart with fear; I turn and run away
I cannot bear to fail again, safe in my walls I’ll stay
The sticky lies  Not good enough, You did it wrong, You can’t do that
Forever block my way; they choke and shame each fledgling gift‘Til talent dies away.

But just when I was finished, completely bound and lost
The truth of God…it came to me, and broke rejections’ mock
God told me that, HE planned each life, designed each girl and man
To fulfill a special purpose and complete a wondrous plan                   Now  who am I to argue with the One who made all things
For His own Son came here to die to set our bound hearts free.

How can I hold my worth contempt, for He makes no mistakes
Instead I will give back to Him; myself, my life, my gifts
To use and grow… to freely give, no matter great or small
To be faithful in the small things and perform for God alone               The shroud of fear is finally gone, for my Lord broke the chains
For though I’m filled with endless flaw, God’s approval covers me.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

Invisible

                                     

As an adult, have you ever felt invisible in a social setting? I know this is a feeling most of us don’t want to acknowledge.  In fact, many may only admit having felt invisible in a social setting quietly inside their own mind.  This is where the hurt feelings and sense of being devalued are safely wrestled with and where the significance of our own person is weighed against the  insignificant feeling of invisibility.


Often, we who feel invisible spend too much time contemplating the motives of the those who look right through us and this introspection increases our feeling of insecurity.  It would be nice to assign one motive to all who instigate the invisible condition, but the truth is there isn’t one reason but as many reasons as there are instigator of invisibility.  Some may be so focused on their own social success that they ignore polite introductions or including others in the conversation.  Others may not want any attention directed away from themselves or their antics, or they may be innocently gabbing without an ounce of malice.  Of course, there is always the basic human condition of not liking the person they are inflicting the invisible condition on.  

Whatever the motive of the instigator really is, isn’t the issue; in fact it’s not important.  What is important is how we choose to deal with our hurt and devalued feelings that are the natural byproduct of feeling invisible.  We mustn’t waste our precious emotional energy trying to figure out other’s motives; we need to focus in on our own. We must choose to acknowledge our God given value and that He has a purpose for our lives.  One of the most important facts to remember is that you are loved; always be grateful for those who truly love you. 


Remember that you are God’s creation and he loves and values you.  This is not a platitude, He not only loves you but He has blessed you with unique talents, skills, and gifts that are to be shared with others and it’s your and my responsibility to not let difficult social moments grow into self doubt that can stop our creativity.  The value of your life is not measured by the fickle minds of simple humans, your value is set in gold by almighty God.  Your value is priceless in the eyes of our Never Changing God.


Remember that the actions of another will only have the power in our lives that we give it permission to have.  If we choose to focus on our hurt feelings and hyper focus on the motives of the instigators our creative energy will be stifled.  Our prayers will be hindered by our negative thought pattern that naturally will turn inward in a self focused and protective way.  When our thoughts are focused inward it’s hard to give to others, it’s hard to be thoughtful, and it’s hard to be generous and caring.


So, the next time you are in a social setting and you feel invisible remember God sees you and He hears your prayers and He cares about you.  Remember that you have a greater purpose in this life that needs to be actively perused and negative, hurt feelings can hinder your progress.  Remember that the instigators are simple, imperfect humans who need your grace and forgiveness and God will help you give it.


 


Debar Shelford Hobbs


 

FREEDOM FROM SHAME

It was one of those years.  Nothing really seemed to go right no matter how hard I tried.  I was president of an organization and was chairing a huge project on which I had poured my heart and soul.  I spent countless hours writing reports, forming plans, praying for wisdom, and leading a committee to pursue the project.  We had lots of community support…at first. But after some opposition and inflexibility from the powers that be, the committee disbanded because most believed there were too many obstacles to overcome. To make matters worse I found myself in a power struggle with one of the organization’s board members.  I soon discovered that the board member had been spreading rumors about me based on an assumption that was wrong.  I confronted my accuser and explained that they had jumped to a wrong conclusion and they apologized, but damage to my reputation was done and I had no idea how to fix it. 

Every voice that whispered to my heart and mind told me that my reputation that was previously spotless was now tarnished beyond repair.  My confidence was broken.  To make matters worse my kids were making poor decisions and their grades had dropped.  Since I was already feeling bad about myself, I took my kids struggles as a personal reflection and believed that I was failing as a parent.

I was covered in shame. 

Nothing seemed right in my life and I was use to “appearing” like I had a good life, good kids, with a great home; I was used to being in demand.  In my mind I had become a throw away – useless – like I should just withdraw and quit volunteering because I was a complete failure. 

One night, sleep eluded me due to sorting through the scenarios over and over. I got up and decided it was time to “duke it out” with the Lord.  I cried out to him, complained to him, and “tattled” on others.  I asked him why all this had transpired and why the “wonderful project” had come to a screeching halt with little to no accomplishment.  I told Him that it left me feeling like a fool and asked him why His favor wasn’t with the project…a project that was  good for so many.  I had prayed so hard for God’s favor and believed fervently that the goal would be accomplished. Now it was dead…Why?  …Why?                                                         
I wanted to understand the purpose for the power struggle and any possible good that could come from it and I asked to understand why He would allow my reputation to be tarnished.  Then I moved on to my kids and wailed about why they were slumping and why none of them were walking with the Lord.  I begged to know why his blessing wasn’t with me and asked Him to show me if I had done something wrong. I told God that I felt like an embarrassment to Him and I felt like a poor reflection of a Christian.   I asked the Lord if my usefulness to others was over and if it was time to quit and maybe find an obscure path in which to serve Him. 

In that moment of hurt and self pity the Lord gently reminded me that it shouldn’t be a surprise when we face opposition and even shame; that if the perfect son of God felt it, how much more will we with our human failures, experience it.  He reminded me how Jesus had built a following in his disciples.  They were committed and totally believed that they were following the One that would deliver the Jews out of bondage. But when things didn’t turn out the way they thought and Jesus was taken away, beaten, and crucified, every one of them abandoned Him and Judas even betrayed Him.  Jesus knew exactly how I felt…alone and abandoned.
He died a most shameful death on the cross…as if he were a criminal.  But he was sinless, perfect…something I will never be.  Jesus was falsely accused and he had to walk through it and hold his head high knowing his father in heaven valued him and loved him endlessly regardless of how things appeared to observers.  Jesus didn’t worry about what others were thinking about him, or about his reputation at that moment.  He looked at the big picture and knew God had a perfect plan in the shame, pain, and abandonment. 

The Lord showed me that even the disciples felt shame.  They were confused and embarrassed because things didn’t turn out like they thought.  Jesus was supposed to become their king but they hadn’t realized that it was a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one.  They had staked everything on their belief, even their reputations.  They probably felt like fools.  They stuck their necks out and look what happened…Jesus died.  He never became king and he never physically delivered the Jews.  They thought it was going to work out their way and it just didn’t. They hid behind locked doors and were confused not knowing what to do next until Jesus rose and appeared to them to make clear all their questions and doubts. 

Pondering all of this, the Lord showed me that I had become self centered; that I was thinking about myself first and foremost in relation to everything that was going on.  God showed me to get my eyes off myself and to give my reputation and future usefulness to Him. My only task was to make myself available to Him and others and to do my best to keep a right heart and attitude.  There could be no place for resentment and self pity but rather I must love everyone and be willing to give up my own dreams and goals and even my reputation.

God showed me that I must give of myself in humility no matter how useless I feel.   My focus cannot be on accomplishing great things and gaining a great reputation.  Rather, my task is to serve God wholly and to give of myself endlessly, leaving the outcomes to Him.  People will hurt us from time to time, there will be disappointments, and we will have ups and downs.  But through it all, we must forgive completely, trust endlessly, and hope tirelessly.  We must remember that Jesus walked through extreme shame and pain for an amazing purpose that has changed the entire course of history.  We cannot forget that Joseph suffered great humiliation and trouble for 13 years for a purpose that brought great glory to God and saved many lives.  We must die to ourselves in the midst of our shame and trials knowing God has a great outcome for us as well. God is in control and in the long run all of our outcomes will be for His glory if we will fix our eyes on him instead of ourselves, our hopes, and our beliefs.

By Rhonda Shelford Jansen