Today’s Guest Blogger, Corey Gibson, is the Student Pastor at The River.
Ever since I could remember, my greatest weakness & fear was of the big R – REJECTION. Yep, you heard it right… as great, funny, cool and popular as I was and still am – my number one struggle was Rejection. I was scared people wouldn’t like me, that I wasn’t funny enough or even cool enough to be in the “popular in-crowd.” I guess the joke was on me. This weakness and fear allowed me to not be as bold as I wanted to be in High School. With missed opportunities, missed and failed relationship/dating experiences, emptiness and neglected jobs… all of these things happened because of my fear or weakness of Rejection. Thinking back on it now, I realized how great my impact and influence would have been if I wouldn’t have been scared of what others would say.
At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. [2 Corinthians 12:8-10]
I’ve learned something over the last few years that really has guided me when I feel rejection trying to creep up to the #1 spot —‘Even in my weakness, if I’m surrendered to Jesus, he still makes me Strong & when I’m in him, he never sees my weakness!’ HELLO, what a thought… Are you telling me, I can struggle with my weakness and Jesus still approves me? Good question, and the answer is a great big YES // And he gives me strength in the midst of my weakness? YES and better yet, He will help you overcome this weakness!
I’ve come to know that in some areas I am weak. That in some situations, I am broken and frail. And guess what… I am okay with that. I know that Christ is my strength, therefore I can be weak. As a matter of fact, if I am in Christ, He has to be strong. My weakness would’ve killed me or depleted me to the point where I would have been taken out of the race.
Last year I had as situation where I thought I was the “the one,” but in actuality wasn’t chosen. The very minute the news broke, the mindset [spirit] of rejection tried to set me back with what God was doing. Immediately, I found myself in intense prayer over the situation and taking my mind captive to the negative thoughts. Needless to say, I was actually okay and content with the decision. Here, I had another rejection situation, but instead of allowing it to beat me for a few days – I focused on the positives and Jesus’ strength in my life.
I’ve developed a joy in leaning on Jesus’ strength, especially when it comes to ministry and preaching/teaching. When I started in full-time ministry, I used to be afraid of networking with other youth pastors I didn’t know or preaching before large crowds. Now, that my joy in the strength of Jesus outweighs my frailty in my weakness… I like and enjoy networking with other pastors/leaders and speaking to the large crowds. It literally all boiled down to this – I rather be rejected before man, then to be rejected by God.
Take a look at your life and see where you are weak! It’s in your weakness, the Lord is trying to accomplish the greatest victory for your life. YOU ARE WEAK, But because HE IS STRONG… YOU STILL GET THE VICTORY! I love how the Message translation puts the scripture above.. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. This simple means, that God’s strength and power is made perfect when we are weak and rely on him alone. I’m weak… and that’s okay cause my strength is not in me but in Christ!