When hard times come, I can be tempted to believe lies about myself because of how people treat me. The good news is that who God says I am does not change because of the rejection of others.
As I continue to face difficult days with heartaches in various relationships, I need to remind myself not to be dictated by my own thoughts and feelings, but instead to be led by my faith in God and His unfailing love–even when people who once were loving toward me treat me in unloving ways.
What hurts is when I’ve shown sacrificial love, and another person returns evil in response to help I’ve given at their request in their hard times. That’s one trial I’m facing now. I did good, and the person responded with evil. This harsh rejection from this loved one has caught me by surprise, and the hurt lingers as the rejection continues.
Once I started realizing this person is depressed, I remembered that hurting people hurt people. As I let go of fretting, I prayed to God about the situation, and He calmed my heart and assured me that it wasn’t wrong of me to give the help this person requested. He reminded me of His love for this person and for me, despite her withdrawing love from me.
Here is some of what the Lord spoke to me: KEEP PUTTING YOUR HOPE IN ME. YOU CAN’T CHANGE HER. I CAN. AT LEAST YOU KNOW HOW STRONGLY BOUND SHE IS. FORGIVE. PRAY SHE WILL TURN TO ME, SO SHE CAN BE EMPOWERED TO FORGIVE. WHEN SHE TURNS TO ME, SHE CAN STOP BEING A VICTIM AND BECOME A VICTOR IN CHRIST. DON’T WORRY. I WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FOR YOU.
I’ve discovered lately that when I consult with my own mind and heart instead of consulting the Lord, it brings me down. His words— from Scripture, spoken directly to my heart from the Holy Spirit, from others, and in books and songs in the midst of sad circumstances— lift me up.
The words from Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say,” have really ministered to me lately as it plays often on the Christian radio station I listen to (The Joy FM). In the song, she reminds me I’m loved, I’m strong, I’m held, and I’m His–even though I can feel these aren’t true when people treat me badly.
God is faithful to remind me who I am in Him. He does it through this song and even when the song isn’t playing as I tune in to Him and determine to receive His truth rather than the lies of the enemy and those around me.
I remember years ago I listened to Elisabeth Elliot on the radio. I loved the two statements she proclaimed at the close of her show, which reminded me of God’s unfailing love for me: “I have loved you with an everlasting love, (Jeremiah 31:3) and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
No matter what happens, those statements are true. What a treasure God’s unfailing love is to me. He never wants me to forget that it’s there for me through every difficulty—even if I can’t feel it at the moment.
Today I pray for my unloving, loved one that she will come to the point where she feels loved, strong in the Lord, held, and His.
The thought that came to me yesterday, which I’m determined to act on, is to do something loving toward this person who has been unloving toward me. What came to mind is to send an uplifting card and a gift certificate for a massage.
I also pray this person will call out to the Lord, since she is not walking with Him. As I do so, I find myself taking my eyes off of me and how I feel and putting them on her and on the Lord, and He is giving me compassion for her.
I wait in thanksgiving for Him to bless her and our relationship. He has already lavished blessings on me through His love, comfort, and strength in this difficult time.
“You Say” by Lauren Daigle