The playwright George Bernard Shaw captured the agony of what Joan of Arc must have felt when on trial for her life in his play Saint Joan. She feels deeply abandoned—even by her own family. In the midst of her trial she cries out, "It is better to be alone with God."
Have you ever felt abandoned? The apostle Paul did. If there was one thing that caused Paul sorrow, it was the lack of courage of some of his closest friends.
If you are feeling dejected because of another's rejection, consider Paul's life and words.
This doesn't mean that all of his friends and colleagues abandoned him. Luke was with him, but many of the others were scattered throughout Asia Minor. Near the end of his life, he expressed his feelings of loneliness when he recalled his former companion and colleague in the ministry Demas. Paul wrote, "Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me" (2 Timothy 4:10).
Few things break the heart of a servant of God more than to witness people who have every reason to succeed in their Christian faith choose to take another road. It causes despair for a parent to watch his child walk away from God. It is heart-wrenching for a godly man or woman to watch as a spouse lives in spiritual rebellion.
The next time someone hurts you, remember what Phillips Brooks said: "Ministry means deeper depths of sorrow and higher heights of joy, and they often come together."
Is there a Demas in your life who is breaking your heart? Are you experiencing the hard, cool hand of rejection from someone you love? Paul experienced the same thing. If you are feeling dejected because of another's rejection, consider Paul's life and words. He did not give up or lose faith. He trusted God and, in His strength, continued with the work God had given him to do, remaining faithful regardless of his personal disappointments. You can, too.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me. May I draw near to You in sorrow and find new heights of joy. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Don't Ever Give Up, Part 8: LISTEN NOW