Get Better, Not Bitter, After Rejection! 5 Biblical Truth Bombs you need to know

I read Hagar’s story in the summer of last year – as I lay in bed at my nan-in-laws by the sea – after being rejected by someone I hoped would be a friend for life.

I’d been dwelling on this friendship break down for months and it was impacting me negatively as the hurt from this friendship had begun to impact other areas of my life. I refused to let this rejection become a poison and I went to God with it in prayer (again). I dived into God’s word and He dropped what I call ‘golden truth bombs’ in to my heart. The truth in His word helped me to gain healthier perspective during the pain of rejection and to move forward.

It’s my heart’s desire to share those golden truth bombs with you my friend, in the hope that if you ever feel, or have ever felt rejection, they will help you too. Ok, so let’s in to God’s word, because that‘s where we‘ll find the hope we are looking for!

Get bitter not better how to handle rejection women of the bible The Hope Table

She made it! Life in ministry under this wonderful man and woman of God, oh yes please!

I do wonder if at first Hagar felt like it was a big win being offered the job as maidservant to a godly couple like Abraham and Sarah. In ancient near Eastern households back then, the position of personal maid servant to the master’s wife reflected honour, obedience and trust.  Unfortunately for Hagar, it wasn’t a win, neither was she treated in an honourable way and soon the custard hit the fan!

Following an involuntary marriage to Abraham, a pregnancy and some baby-mama-drama that ensued in Genesis 16 and then again in Genesis 21:8 – 10 Sarah, the first lady of the house, commanded that Hagar and her son Ishmael, to whom Abraham was the baby daddy, be dashed from their family home and onto the streets. No alimony. No child support. Nada. Just some bread and water. Oh the drama – Someone call The Jerry Springer Show!

The Bible says:

“but early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Dessert Beersheba” (21:14-16)

Just like that Hagar was ejected from the family.

Just for a moment, imagine the anxiety, stress, pain, hurt, and fear that cloaked her mind and heart. She had already been through enough. She didn’t ask for all of this and now she was now a single mama with her son; abandoned, rejected and homeless. And before things got better for Hagar things got worse. Her dark season got darker as she ran out of water.


If there’s one thing you need when you are lost in a desert, it’s water!

Focused on her situation, Hagar thought her and her child would die there – rejected and alone – of thirst. The Bible says that because she couldn’t bear to watch her son die, she puts him under a bush, goes a bow shot away (which is about ½ a mile in those days) and sobs. She isolated herself even more. My own heart hangs with heaviness and my eyes well-up as I envision Hagar on her knees, faced down towards the hot sand with the sun scorching her back as she ugly cries.


Have you ever felt rejected?

Some of our everyday examples are not as harsh as Hagar’s, and some are. Whether it’s big or small, the painful rejection of someone close to you hurts. It’s like suffering a sting to the heart.


Maybe for you it was a guy you really liked? You broke up. But to make it worse, you heard that there might’ve been another woman already in the picture. Not only do you feel rejected, but that is now combined with humiliation, comparison, jealousy and insecurity.


Or maybe it was a parent that rejected you? Causing years of questioning about why they left. Didn’t they love you enough to stay or to change? Was it your fault? Why didn’t the maternal or paternal instinct make them want to do better by you?


Maybe it was at work. You’re always talked over. Your ideas always rejected, or you’re always skipped over for promotion. They just don’t see your value.


Maybe it was a friendship. A friendship that had so much potential but somewhere along the line it went horribly wrong, and you can’t even figure out how something so beautiful got so messy. You’ve spent time praying into the relationship in an attempt to restore the equilibrium of your friendship that once was. But he/she doesn’t want to be friends anymore.


This rejection could be affecting your community dynamics, your family, your church life, your sleep and appetite even. Sometimes all you think of are the things you said or did to cause it, or things you could’ve done or said differently to prevent it. Whatever your rejection looks like, the aftermath can leave us feeling unhappy, hopeless, devoid of peace, afraid, broken, fearful and questioning ourselves and our future. Sometimes it can even leave us questioning the love of God;

Where are you in my pain Lord?

Why’ve you allowed this to happen?

Where is the hope in this situation?


When all hope seems lost, Hagar hears a voice. A voice of hope

“What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.“ Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she filled her skin with water and gave the boy a drink” (v17 – 19)

Phew! As God reaches into her situation all I can do as I‘m sure Hagar did too, is sigh a breath of relief. If I was in her shoes I would cry again. Only this time tears of joy and relief.

Truth Bomb number 1. What man can give you can end, but what God can give you is for eternity.

Just like that the water that Abraham gave to Hagar in the skins ran out – man’s provision will never be enough. Sometimes we put so much emphasis on other humans to meet our needs and when they let us down we feel soul-destroyed. But the truth is we are all flawed.

Our God however is perfect and it’s on Him that we should depend. We should always put our hope and trust in God who can supply our every need, even in the most unlikely of places and scenarios, just like he did when he supplied the well of water for Hagar.

God could’ve easily just refilled Hagar’s water skin, but no He gave her a well. A water source not just for today, but for the foreseeable future and beyond. God is the satisfier of your soul. Not man.


The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring  (Isaiah 58:11)


2. It’s time to stop crying about what you don’t have and start loving on what you do have – Perspective is Key.

During rejection, you might feel like you’ve lost something and there’s the potential to lose more. Of course, CRYING IS OK and you might feel down and we can’t ignore those feelings. They have to be processed.

But eventually, you have to get out of the bed, put the box of tissues away and say ‘enough is enough’ and get on with living your best life with the blessings that remain.  Again, I’ll say, crying is ok and often needed. We can’t ignore our emotions and sometimes the only way we can respond is with tears. BUT the longer you cry and dwell on what happened, the longer it takes for you to lift your head up and see the beautiful blessings that God has set before you.

There comes a point where we are to stop looking at what we no longer have and look to God and what He might be trying to show, give or teach us. Allow God to help you see things from a new perspective. Not from a place of loss, but from a place of wholeness that you find in Him. Ask God to open your eyes to the good. There’s a saying “Change the way you see things and the things you see will change”.

If you allow Him to, God will turn your mess into a message and transform you from victim to victor.


Another person's rejection does not remove you from God's protection

3. Another person’s rejection does not remove you from Gods protection

A lot of us have been rejected like Hagar and many of us have spent much of our lives still living with that feeling of rejection. You might have even questioned if God has taken sides. Abraham and Sarah were the chosen ones so to speak. But their rejection of Hagar did not stop God from taking care of her and protecting her and loving her and her family. Can I tell you that another person’s rejection does not remove you from God’s protection. He cares for you with a passion.


4. They can star in their own story and you can star in yours. Both are valuable.

In Genesis 16, when the Hagar runs away and is confronted by the angel about where she is running away to, Hagar says she is running away from her mistress Sarai. By the time we time we get to Chapter 21, Hagar doesn’t even mention Sarai when she is asked ‘what’s up?’. Do you think that’s maybe because she matured enough to know that the blame game doesn’t help anything or anyone?

By human nature we want to defend ourselves. Explain why what the other person did was wrong and maybe justify our own actions in the process. But sometimes we must give up blaming others and holding on to the need to be the one who has the last word. Or the one who is right.

We also need to stop blaming ourselves. Rehashing the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s doesn’t help. Notice, God didn‘t take sides either.

He didn’t say: “Hagar it’s your fault and you shouldn’t have done this & this and this”

Neither did he say: “Mean old Abraham and Sarah! Hagar, I’m going to strike them down with lightning for you“.

God continued to work in the lives of Abraham and Sarah in a special way and he promised to do so with Hagar and Ishmael also. Each story, each character, has graced the lives of billions of people all over the world with wisdom, sermons and much more throughout centuries. Because of the story of Sarah, Abraham and Hagar, the story of each individual, we can be mentored and know and understand the graceful and loving character of our God. The individual and unique journey of each character teaches us different lessons.

They were all stars in their own story.

It feels horrible when you have to part ways with someone and you feel rejected. But it’s important to avoid the blame game and know, they can star in their own story and you can start in yours. Both are valuable.

However, God is the main star in EVERY story.


5. Get Up! You have a purpose to live out.

Rejection can make us withdraw and isolated ourselves as Hagar did. She moved away from her son. If the enemy had his way we would stay there wallowing in self-pity and insecurities. This story shows us that these times are the perfect time to fill up on Jesus, the living water.

The CSB version says:

“Get up, help the boy, and grasp his hand for I will make Him a great nation.”

Here God reconfirms a promise that He has made to Hagar previously. Rejection can make us forget God’s great promises and plans for us. It can also make us forget that God created us for a purpose.

When I was feeling rejected it really hindered me stepping into the plans had called me to. The broken relationship was consuming my thoughts and my actions. And whilst I sat there whimpering about it, God was waiting for me to be obedient in the things he had called me to. My un-healing from this rejection was almost physically holding me back. I realised that the longer I spent holding onto the rejection the more likely I was to get bitter.

The truth is that man was not made to be alone and therefore our purposes are connected. There are people in the world that we are called to serve and to help reach their destiny. Though rejection and feelings of abandonment can knock us down during our race, it shouldn’t knock us out of the race. We‘ve got to get up girl! For me this looked like, forgiving, healing and then continuing the race.

Women of purpose don’t have time to get bitter, only better! There is someone that you need to share your living water with. There is someone that you are called to hold hands with, to help! So get up! We need you to get back up!



The God that Sees and Hears

The name Hagar is said by some to mean either stranger or flight. Regardless of which is correct, whether she was a stranger lost on the wilderness, or scared lady that took flight in chapter 16, God saw her. He sees you too. He sees your needs and God draws close to you his beloved child.

The name Ishamel is said to mean ‘whom God hears’. God is the best counsellor. In fact the bible calls Him the wonderful counsellor. Perfect listener and the perfect adviser.

I mean of course Jesus understands. He experienced rejection first hand.

“He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, he is a nobody!“ Isaiah 53:3

When he was innocently hung on the cross, and the people could‘ve chosen to save Him. They did not. They didn’t choose him. They rejected him. But we know that rejection was not the end of the story. It continued. Three days after Jesus was killed by his rejecters he rose again. And today he lives and we get to tell the tale.

I love when Jesus shows up to the guys in the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13 – 35). He stops over and has a meal with the believers. As Jesus sat at the table, whilst breaking bread, they recognised Jesus was alive and resurrected. I wonder if that was because as he broke the bread they recognised the holes from the nails that his rejectors drove into his hands?

Jesus knew the God he served. And whilst occasionally you’ll get rejected from the table of some, there is always room for you at the table with Christ. There is an invitation with your name on it from the King. The King that sits on the throne of your heart has invited you to a banquet with Him. A table where he serves, love, hope, peace, grace, healing and an eternal list of wonderfulness.

Girl, rejection can get you down, but by God’s grace it can’t keep you down. He has given you authority and It’s time to get up!


Get bitter not better how to handle rejection women of the bible


Get bitter not better how to handle rejection women of the bible The hope Table



I feel rejected



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