by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is probably nothing more painful than to assume on love that is not there. Family, friends, church folks, even the government can all betray us. It can be a severe emotional wound and sometimes with even negative physical results. There is nothing nice about betrayals.
But Jesus went through it, in all the worst of ways to show us that we can survive it, even in Him. I am not one to say that pain doesn’t hurt, or to act like it never happened. Things do happen, they happened to Jesus, and it even took Him to the cross, but He had a God who could raise the dead and heal His body.
Jesus came meaning well. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, taught the Word and demonstrated the Love of the Kingdom of God. He came humbly, as a child born in a barn, laid in a manger, learned as a boy, worked as a young man, loved as a son, worked at a job (in the natural and the Spiritual) and died as a martyr. But we still know about Him and can sense His presence today working in our lives.
Like the prophets before and after Him, He came as a human. The difference is that He was begotten by the Father. His blood was sinless. He laid down His life to show us that we too have a way of access by being ingrafted into Him. He has prayed for us to be one with Him, as He and the Father are One.
Betrayal can bring up a lot of emotions and you must take those emotions by the check points of God. We all make mistakes but some are “willing” errors – meaning that they were done on purpose, and some are foolish decisions that we must repent for.
Because of our idol worship, we have portrayed super human Christians who can bear anything, live through anything, forgive anything and are really just “out of this world” in their exemplery performances. Now we do need heros, but heros are heros because they made a right decision or paid a high price for the greater good. When we take them out of or put them above the human realm, even in our thoughts, we have made idols.
And we will be crushed over our idols because when we have them, we have made ourselves one with them, and all idols will be crushed in honor of the Living God. Christianity is meant to be a soul searching faith. The blessing of it is that God will meet us there.
Situations as well as people can betray us. It is important for us to understand this. Because of Jesus’ prophetic gift and discernment, He said in Mark 14:41: “Then He came the third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.'”
Sinners wanted to come against Him but Jesus knew His life mission was from God and that only God is good and that He was doing good. Some welcomed the truth and the love and the help He brought, but some did not. God calls people sinners who work against the plans of God. He had to set His Face like a flint to go to Jersusalem because He knew what was ahead. Some people are not kind.
Jesus said in Luke 21:16 “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all [the world] (my added paraphrase for a better understanding) for My name’s sake.” The spirit of the world is at emnity with Christ.
So you do expect some trouble from the world, but what about when it is in the camp of believers? You have to sort it all out. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a Christian. Many have been raised in a Christian family or a Christian nation and church and just assume themselves to be “Christian.” But true Christianity demands its followers to follow the ways of Jesus, for He said, “I Am the Way,” and His words were spoken as the word and instruction of God.
So some betrayals come because people are sinners from their core. They have not submitted or aligned themselves in right standing in God and been born again by His Spirit where a supernatural transformation takes place. The Bible says some will turn away from the faith.
Others make mistakes and miss the mark. The flesh fights against the Spirit, even in believers. Many cave in to the wrong peer pressure. We have to die daily to truly walk with God and that means to submit all things to Him, even when it is not easy. But we can do that because of the justice and promises of God for vindication that are found in His Word. We don’t defend ourselves, but we can defend our faith in God!
Some are coaxed into sin and thus betray, and some are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is why we must daily ask to be in the perfect will of God. Bad things can happen but we have a God who can take us beyond it to a better place. Our job is to believe that.
In discerning betrayals, accountability comes into play. And some do play with that, but God will set all things in order. We just have to line up with Him for our vindications. But because we are born into a fallen world and are in the process of dealing with this mortal life, we will find that members in the family of God can let us down and betray us.
This is probably where betrayal hurts us the most. And corporately, this is a big issue, because God can only bless unity with Him in the Spirit.The devil will want to come in and play all sorts of tricks with our minds, and some people – false Christians – will even join in the evil with false doctrine or malicious activity. We need a return to repentance where the standards of God are expressed.
God will use betrayals to bring us closer to Him. They will cause us to lean on Him, press into Him and they will even lift us up to a higher place in Him. Our battle is always the flesh.
In the Bible and in life, Christians have been known by their love. Love is more than emotion, it is a standard of living expressed. Flesh and emotion may tell us to to strike back, but a civilized society will use restraint for a better way of justice than just flying off the handle. The higher good of life is considered.
Forgiveness can be offered, not because we are so great, but because a higher way of life can be known. That does not mean that God does not see and vindicate, He does, but He does it in a way for the larger corporate picture of life. When King David sinned and slept with his military servant’s wife, and then covered it over with his murder, he repented when the reality of it was exposed to him but there were years where he dealt with the results of all that.
Yes, he was still a believer and after dealing with the sin, he pressed into God all the more, but there were repurcussions. His biggest agony though was dealing with himself because of the repurcussions. (See Psalm 51) When we fail God, our peace is lifted and we have to press in to get it back. It can only come through faith.
David had to first work on forgiving himself, then he was able to get things right with the people. But he pressed through and God restored him within himself and then again with the people and he was considered great, even by Jesus who is called the son of David.
Like all of us, David had to study and work to show himself approved unto God as a workman who could rightly divide (or discern) the truth. Truth will stand the tests of time and eternity.
What about when we are betrayed? When we take a loss and experience pain, it is because we have placed a high value upon that which we held dear and special. We need to realize that the pain is over the virtue we valued and we have to trust God to care about that too. If He allowed it, it was either to expose what was already there or it was to correct or even offer a higher way of life. Accepting that can be a challenge, but in God it can be done!
Sometimes the experience will better calibrate us. We learn where to give more and we learn where we should hold back. That also is a discerning ability. I have even found that the energy from the force of the betrayal can be harnessed to further the Kingdom work of God. We can also learn the nature of Christ so much more intimately. Jesus was a man of compassion. He was acquainted with our griefs.
Before I had a serious surgery in my own life, I used to have head knowledge compassion on people when I heard of theirs. Sometimes seeing a slower moving elderly person irritated me, because they were in front of me and I was moving faster. After my surgery, when someone told me someone had to have a serious surgery, I now “felt” the pain of compassion in my stomach and heart, not just my head.
When I saw someone struggling to walk, I had a new understanding of the probable pain they were experiencing remembering how it was a struggle for me to move and lift things in my own recovery time. Walking was a big deal then!
These things ultimately made me a better person in some ways and they did draw me closer to God. Not only that, I also experienced some divine healing. But as humans, we can experience the natural and the supernatural. God is a Spirit and ultimately our spirit is what the Father of spirits is dealing with that we might live before Him. (Hebrews 12:9) There is a tandem thing at work here.
Jesus said it, betrayals will come. But with all of it, right standing in God is what saves us and keeps us. As we submit to Him and His loving Body, healing also comes. We learn what the words mean, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Some get angry and turn away from God because they can’t discern the devil from the Lord. The devil will tell all kinds of lies on God but God will vindicate His Name and who He really is. We have to cooperate with Him to see it.
Betrayals ultimately can make us better people, better discerners and better Christians. They can cause us to use our passions more for His Kingdom – where everyone who is righteous will be blessed.