John Hagee - Rejection and Resentment
The majority of the people in this audience and the millions who are watching by television over 200 nations have experienced personal rejection, rejection that has left a scar on your soul, rejection that has embittered your mind. It has robbed you of your joy. It has robbed you of your peace. It has destroyed the quality of life that you had hoped to have. It has destroyed your marriage. It has destroyed friendships. I want you to listen closely today. We're going to open the pages of God's word and show you how to walk out of the prison of resentment and to recapture the joy of God's everlasting love.
Read with me proverbs 18:14. Ready? "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity. But a wounded spirit, who can bear"? Notice the emphasis, "But a wounded spirit, who can bear"? "Rejection and resentment".
Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, let us today walk in paths of righteousness to experience the joy of the Lord that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow, where there is no rejection but only God's eternal love and divine acceptance. In Jesus' name, we pray and ask it. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. What is rejection? What is rejection? "Rejection" can be defined as the sense of being unwanted. You want people in your life to love you, but you believe for whatever reason that they do not, nor will they ever. Maybe you didn't feel the love of your mother. She was always there but always interested in something else. Or maybe you never felt acceptance from your father. He gave you his name. He gave you a place to live. He gave you food to eat, but he never gave you his time. He never gave you his interest. He never gave you himself, because he was always interested in something else. He was an absentee father.
As a teenager, my father, who was an ordained minister, and I lived in a state of emotional war for years. My father, defending his Pentecostal legalism, cared absolutely nothing about sports. I lived for the next game. If it was round, I was trying to hit it. If he was oblong, I was trying to kick it. It was a wonderful world. I was a four sport letterman in middle school, and a starter on the Reagan high school in houston, every year that I was there, and a starter at the university football team every year I was there. But my father thought sports just had nothing to offer humanity. He never came to a game. He never asked me about a game. Did you win? Did you lose? No conversation like that, not in ten years.
With my picture in the Houston newspaper on the kitchen table in my football uniform, he didn't ask me a word about that story, about why it happened, why was it in the newspaper. Did I resent him? I resented him to the core. We didn't speak to each other for weeks on in, not "Good morning," not "Good night," not "Jump in the lake," nothing. I know something about rejection. I know something about rage. I know something about rage that consumes you until you grip your fist until your fingernails almost make your hands bleed.
The reason some of you feel rejection is that you were in a storm with your husband or your wife, who betrayed your wedding vows, who was unfaithful to you. They left you for someone else. It is a deep wound in your soul that has never healed. Divorce was bitter. The divorce was vicious. It left you with a wounded spirit. Some of you feel rejection and resentment because you were passed over for a promotion at your job, or your business partner destroyed your business through deception, or you were left at the front door of an orphanage by your mother and she never came again. I know circumstances like that. A child may be unwanted during the pregnancy of the mother. And that mother carrying a child in her womb does not want that baby. And that spirit of rejection will pass to that child. I can guarantee you that's a scriptural fact.
We are building a magnificent Sanctuary of Hope at Cornerstone Church. It's an orphanage, a place where unwanted children are going to be loved and accepted every day that the sun comes up, not rejected, not abused, but filled with the love of God with a life that has unlimited potential. Give the Lord praise for that project. In my years of personal counseling, I have counseled beautiful daughters, who were raped by their fathers or their stepfathers, or their foster fathers. It's much more common in foster care than you want to think about. Some of the things being done to the children in our society in foster care are nothing short of criminal. That's in the newspaper. That's not out of my mouth: that's out of the newspaper.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, needs to be corrected in this city and in every city in the United States of America. I think judgment day is going to be filled with shocking revelations. You do not know the anguish, the heartache, the horror, that a person sitting next to you has been going through, or the person sitting in front of you, or the person sitting behind you. You do not know the anguish of their heart, the torment of their mind, the tears that have ripped down their cheeks and fallen into their pillows because of the desperation of their soul. I want you to listen to me, church. We are the family of God! Here is where life begins and the love of God never ends, right here! Jesus commanded, "Love one another as I have loved you". And I want to tell you he loved us before we loved him. He gave us love on credit. "Love is of God, and those who have not love, have not God".
I don't care how loud you sing, how braggadocious your spiritual accomplishments. But if you do not demonstrate the love of God to other people, you are a hypocrite of the highest order. Love is not what you say: love is what you do. Don't tell me you love me: show me you love me. Saint Paul's penicillin shot for rejection is this: Philippians 3:13. "Forgetting those things which are behind". Say that with me. "Forgetting those things which are behind". And there is a key. Some of you don't want to forget it, because that's all you've got going for you. If you didn't whine about your past, 90% of your personality would be flushed. Whew! Paul said, "I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling, which is in Christ Jesus".
But as far as the fact that I was beaten and left for dead, in spite of the fact that Christians turned their back upon me, in spite of the fact that the Roman government has put me in jail, and I've been in jail more than I've been out of jail: in spite of the fact that corinthians mock my teaching, in spite of the fact that I was bitten by snakes and left for dead: in spite of the fact that I'd been shipwrecked and I'd been left for dead in the sea: in spite of all that. Those things, "In view of these light afflictions," he said. Hear that? "In view of these light afflictions, they are not worthy to be counted for the glory that God has prepared for those that love him".
If the average Christian in San Antonio had been beaten with a whip for the testimony of Christ, dear God, we'd have cameras and newspapers, and make them the martyr of the ages. Paul said, forget it. Don't even think about it. It's not worth thinking about. In view of what heaven has for us, run the race with endurance. Run it with patience. Be an overcomer. Fight back. Get up out of the dirt! Lick your wounds! Wipe the tears out of your eyes and the blood out of your mouth, and get moving! The prize is greater than the burden! Life is a way. It's a road. It's a freeway: it's not a parking lot. Life is a school: it's not a cemetery. It's an arena. It's not a bleacher seat where you sit down and watch it go by. Life is for growth. It's for movement. It's for action. It's for progress.
Stop living life looking through a rear-view mirror. Get up and get moving. Get up and get moving, forgetting those things which are behind. Rejoice ever more. Move beyond your achievements. Are you the salesman of the year last year? Forget it! Did you win the championship last year? Forget it. You can't eat those ribbons that you won last year. And those things that you did that were so wonderful in that last year, they won't pay the light bill tomorrow. Get up and get on your bicycle and start pumping. Move beyond your achievements! We're glad you made all-American in 1932. That's over! Move past your setbacks! Move to the love of God! Move onto the joy, and the peace, and the hope that God has for you, happiness that makes your life rich, and full, and free! Get moving! Can I get a witness?
You see people, who have not survived resentment and rejection, everywhere in this town and in every town in America. You see them in churches, singing songs out of their mouth that do not come from their heart. You should see what I see sitting on this chair. It's a real show. You see them in hospitals. You see them in rest homes. Early in life, they've retired. I heard a man the other day congratulate a friend who retired at 50. And I went up and tapped him on the shoulder. I said, "To do what"? And he looked at me like I had a rare disease. You see people, who have not survived resentment and rejection, in jails, in public offices, in rocking chairs at home for a life that has ended too soon. That rocking chair is good to rest in the afternoon. But brother, you need to get up and get cracking when the sun comes up.
Medical science has proven resentment can physically and mentally destroy you. Doctors have proven that. I'll put it in an easy form. Our mind and our body are so connected that they affect the well being of each other. The doctors' words is "Psychosomatic". "Psycho" is your brain. "Somatic" is your body. If you think it, you'll become that. "As a man thinketh, so is he". If your body gets ill, you can let your mind become ill because your body is ill. When you get sick in your body, your testimony needs to be "God is with me, I'm getting well, and I'm getting better, and I'm coming out of here".
When that doctor looked me in the eye and said, "One in a million get over what you've got," I said, "I'm going to be that one in a million". And God gave me that because I began to say that, and because my heart began to believe that, and my body began to respond to that, because that is the word of God. Speak it and God brings it in to pass. Through the faith that you have, God will do it! There's a miracle in your mouth! Quit whining and start doing something with your life! Solomon said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine". A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine. When is the last time you really had a good, ole-fashioned laugh? "A house divided against itself cannot stand". And some of you are living in a divided house. You and your wife are living in two different worlds. You go there to hang up your clothes, but there's not anymore between you, nothing.
The Bible says, Solomon speaking, "As a man thinketh, so is he". Is this you? Has your resentment destroyed your peace? Have you lost your joy? Have you lost your zest for life? Has the bitterness of the past destroyed the present and the future? Some of you are looking, and saying, "Pastor, how can I be happy"? "How can I be joyful after all that has happened to me"? Let me tell you something. My answer is to continually surrender life's heartaches. Continually surrender life's trials. Continuously surrender life's disappointments, life's unpleasant situations, into the hands of God, "Casting every care upon him: for he careth for you". Say that with me. "Casting every care upon him: for he careth for you". He wants to carry it. And he will if you'll turn loose of it!
Some of you have your fists wrapped around your troubles, and God couldn't pry it out of your hand with a crowbar. You can't get anything out of man's hand that's a fist. That's why the communist's signal is that. No room for God. We do not believe in God: we just believe in us. And 30 million of them died under Joseph Stalin, proving communism is a fraud. Some of you sit in this room, and your life is broken. You have a broken spirit. You're going through the crisis of your life, because of resentment, because of betrayal.
God will never force you to open your hand unless you give it to him. God will never force you to divorce yourself from precious resentments and rejection. But you must choose to let them go. You must choose to let them go. That's your choice. Christians betray one another. Hold onto your chairs for just a minute. Every act of gossip and tale bearing on your part is betrayal. If you are not an eyewitness, you are a false witness. When you repeat what somebody else has said, you are a garbage peddler. Remember those who talk to you about other people will talk to other people about you. For Christians to compromise with the world, the flesh, the devil, is an act of rejection of the Son of God. It's treason in the courts of heaven. Often Christians are their own worst enemy.
History tells us of Julius Caesar. He was the greatest of the Caesars, who brought Rome to the pinnacle of its power. Rome had conquered its enemies. But Rome's troubles, like America, were from the inside. The constant feuding of military men and politicians for positions of power in the Roman empire, threatened the stability of the government. Are you listening, America? Then Julius Caesar came to power. By the year 45 B.C., Rome had risen to the very pinnacle of its power, and he had Rome in his grasp. The people of Rome were delighted. But the hidden government that was trying to overthrow the duly-elected government was angry.
Julius Caesar was popular with the people, but he was hated by the powerful Roman senate. Does that sound familiar to you? A conspiracy was developed by men, who were deeply indebted to Caesar. It wasn't a fake news conspiracy: it was a "Let's kill him" conspiracy. And brutus, his dear friend, let it. He was Caesar's nearest friend. When it came time to murder Caesar, it was agreed that each man would stab Caesar so that the blame would be equally shared. Like vultures, on the day appointed, those that Caesar had help, those that Caesar had brought to power, converged on him like a pack of wolves to stab him to death.
History records that he fought fiercely, because Caesar was a great commander on the combat field. He fought seriously, stabbing back his attackers until he saw the face of brutus. And when he saw the face of his dear friend, he knew he had organized it, and he dropped his knife. And they stabbed him to death without another stroke.
The point is rejection and betrayal took the will to fight and to live from the most powerful man on the face of the earth. When brutus plunged the dagger into the bleeding body of Julius Caesar, he had already died from rejection of those that he called his friends. Look at the bloody road of rejection in history. Jesus of Nazareth gathered his 12 disciples into the upper room for the last supper. And he looked at them, and he said, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil"? How would you like to start a church meeting out like that? And Judas, the Betrayer, slipped out into the darkness to sell the Son of God for 30 pieces of silver, which was the price of a slave.
Saint Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, was beaten by the Roman cat-o-nine-tails until the blood ran in streams out of his back. Saint Paul's deepest scars were not given to him by the Romans. They were the rejection and betrayal of the fellow believers to whom he ministered. Listen to Paul's words. "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world".
Listen closely. Sooner or later, you're going to have a dear friend reject you, betray you, someone that's close to you, someone you would never dream would do that to you. But I assure you, as certainly as the sun rises in the east, it's going to happen at some point and time in your life. If you let it fester in your soul, it will destroy your mind. It will crucify your hope. It will make your life bitter. The best thing you can do is erase it and replace it with the joy of the Lord that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow. Turn it loose! Let it go! Get it out of your life! Get it out of your speech! Quit talking to your friends about it! Forget it and move on! "Casting every care upon him: for he careth for you". That means you do it today before your mind is corrupted, and your body becomes sick, or your sick body makes your mind ill. Let it go. Turn it loose, because resentment and bitterness will kill you.
While your heads are bowed and your eyes are closed, sitting in the presence of the Lord, how many of you in this room would say, pastor, rejection has produced bitterness in my life. Rejection is very, very much in my past, and it has caused resentment in my soul to fester. And today, I want to give it up. I want to turn it loose. I want it to leave my memory so that from this day forward, that will never bother me again. If that describes you, I want you to slip your hand up right where you are. Slip your hand please. Fully half of this congregation. Be honest with the Lord. Don't sit there with a clinched fist. Let it go. Let it go. I want you to open your hand as wide as you can, and I want you to lift it to the Lord. And I want you to pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I want all resentment and all bitterness to leave my life. I want it to leave my speech. I want to live in joy. I want to live in peace. I want the sound of laughter to fill my home again, because the Lord is the joy of my soul. Amen.