Much time is spent, surely wasted, in wondering whether or not we will be accepted or chosen by a particular person or group, whether we will be qualified, liked, or attractive enough for them. To be chosen seems to fill us up, and to be rejected seems to make our hearts sick.
Yet, the truth for the believer is that we are never qualified, liked or attractive enough in ourselves. Indeed, apart from Christ, there is no good in us. We may try to improve and change through our own feeble attempts, and yet the nagging fear of rejection still looms over us, threatening to overwhelm at times.
Maybe much of the reason for this fear is that we have not set our minds fully on this precious truth: “He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
Ephesians is a letter rich with the truth of what it means to be “in Christ” and the early verses of chapter 1 set out the foundations of this reality. How is it that we can be accepted in the Beloved? Because God has chosen us in Him (v.4), predestining us for adoption into God’s family (v.5). Why are we accepted? Because of the shedding of His blood which procures the forgiveness of sins (v.7), given freely to us because of His great grace.
These are just some of the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8) and it would do us much good to meditate often on them.
To realise that we are accepted in the Beloved is to begin to comprehend the honour and grace that God has bestowed on His children.
At Jesus’ baptism, the voice of God was heard: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The Father sent the Son, and was well pleased in Him. God chose for Him to be the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14), in order to reconcile us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18). And yet wrapped up in this wonderful work is this truth: “that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them as You have loved me” (John 17:23). Just as the Father looks upon the Son and is well pleased in Him, loving Him to the greatest extent possible, so He looks upon His children, all believers, and declares them chosen, accepted, loved.
Why, then, is it that we so often are not satisfied with God’s acceptance of us and rush off to find approval from someone else? If this truth, that God loves us as He loves the Son, does not change us, and pull us away from lesser loves, then we simply have not understood its magnitude. Without Christ, you are not worthy of acceptance. And yet God has chosen you, declared you righteous and redeemed you, and will one day present you glorified (Romans 8:30). Your identity is fixed, and it is this truth which your Beloved whispers to you: “God is well pleased with you because you are accepted in Me”. It’s all because of Jesus.
Thus, fix your mind on this truth. Meditate on it, and remind yourself of it when you are weighed down by the rejection of someone as they pass you by, or as those whose attention you have craved take no notice of you. You will find that the fear of rejection, by those whom you have raised up on pedestals, will begin to fade. Then go and live for Christ.
This, then, should be the ground of our confidence; this, too, is our reason for praise, our motivation to seek to glorify Christ with each breath and to serve Him with passion, the anchor on which we base our hope and our whole lives – we are chosen and accepted in Him, our Beloved.