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Coping With Betrayal

By CARLOS SPENCER

There are times when we all feel let down or betrayed by others. It normally relates to a violation of trust with someone who is close to us (a relative, spouse, friend, business partner, colleague, et cetera). Perhaps the most referenced act of betrayal in scripture relates to the betrayal of Jesus by the disciple Judas.

Prophecy and God’s plan had to be fulfilled, but this must have been a disappointment to our Lord and Saviour. Matthew 26:14-16 (KJV) tells us: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” An important point to note is that the act of betrayal was instigated by Judas, and not the chief priests.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that we will experience disappointment from those close to us. People that we love and value will sometimes do the unexpected, and pursue a path that we do not expect or anticipate. The hurt and disappointment that we feel might be so profound and acute that we might never forget the experience. We are human and may change our modus operandi, or make adjustments that are so significant that life is completely altered for all persons concerned. However, our Creator requires us to let go and let God deal with the matter through the intercession of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

For believers this is simple enough. For others it becomes more of a challenge to trust in God to remedy our situation, or at least to allow it to become tolerable. Jesus asks that we forgive others when we feel wronged. Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV) says: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” To reiterate, it may indeed be difficult, and at times near impossible to forget a negative experience, but Jesus requires that we practice forgiveness when we feel betrayed.

Jesus admonishes us in Mark 11:25 (KJV): “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” The important principle is that we should seek to be mindful of how we treat others, at all times. Unfortunately, this is forgotten all too frequently, or so it appears. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:12 (KJV): “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Despite what we may endure (betrayal or disappointment with others included) we should remember that Jesus understands every weakness we may have because He was tempted in all conceivable ways. However He did not sin and held fast. We are told in Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) how to cope in such a situation: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace, to help in time of need.” Our merciful God will bless our situation and provide relief.

Scripture tells us that God is faithful and will bless those who trust in Him. Genesis 12:3 (KJV) tells us: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

None of us are without sin, and we have all “sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

Betrayal or disappointment by those that we hold close is unfortunately part and parcel of life’s various experiences, but it is never a pleasant encounter. David wrote in Psalm 41:9 (KJV): “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

However, we should remember our faith and continue to trust in God’s everlasting Word, irrespective of the circumstance. Psalm 46:1 (KJV) tells us: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Romans 8:28 (KJV) sums it all up by reminding us: “And we know that all things work together for good….” Amen. Thanks be to God for the sharing of His Word.

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