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Devotionals

When We Are Betrayed

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When We Are Betrayed

Psalm 55: 13-15 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God. Psalm 55: 13-15

Betrayal is possibly one of the most difficult things we will have to deal with in our walk as Christians. To discover that those whom you have entrusted have broken that trust can throw us into a state of uncertainty. That uncertainty can lead to poor decisions as our flesh wars against our Spirit. Because the flesh wants to react as the world would. Vengeance is what the world embraces. But Jesus always expects more from us. Christianity always raises the bar:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 17-21

This grates so much against our flesh. The offending person deserves it. After all we are right and they are wrong. But God does not care if you are right, only if you are obedient. There is a larger picture being painted by the Master. Sometimes we think our little corner of the canvas is all that matters. We can become self-righteous in our wronged state. But within these verses from Romans are several truths we need to embrace if we are to survive the betrayal.

First, on a payment scale, we cannot repay evil with evil. This is the old, "two wrongs don't make a right." In our pursuit of payback, we become what we abhor. Evil is evil and we are to have nothing to do with evil.

Avoid every kind of evil. 1Thessalonians 5: 22

This is one of the instructions from the Apostle Paul about what God's will for us is. That is how important it is. There is no payback. Evil cannot be paid back it has to be overcome. The dictionary defines overcome as "conquer." When we think and act in payback mode, we are still perpetuating evil. Therefore evil still wins. But when we overcome evil; evil loses. It is conquered.

The next lesson from these verses in Romans is that people are watching. Paul exhorts us to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. Note, Paul is not saying to do what WE think is right. We must take into consideration everyone. It matters how other believers and those in the world perceive our actions.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. Romans 14: 13

One of the largest problems in the western church is hypocrisy. We talk one way and walk another. We preach forgiveness as we should but when betrayed that concept gets pushed to the limit. Here is the teaching of Jesus:

you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." Romans 2: 21-24

Did you catch that last line? God's name is blasphemed amongst the Gentiles (unbelievers) because of you. The world is watching and wanting a reason to believe in Christ or to not believe. The entire crux of Christianity is the forgiveness God showered upon us. To then turn around and not forgive someone else, no matter how egregious the offense may seem, is what will turn off people from seeking the cross.

Moving through the verses from Romans, God is instructing us to live at peace with everyone; as far as it depends on you. God adds this qualifier because He knows that there will always be unrest. There is no peace in the world but even within the church there will be unrest. There will be people who cause dissension and who will not spare the flock. There will always be people who think more about themselves then the cause of Christ. But God is saying it doesn't have to be YOU. As far as it depends upon you, live at peace with everyone. Not just the ones that are easy to love either.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5: 43-48

Yes, even the betrayers we must strive to love. Even those people we trusted and were hurt by. Even those who did so wrong by us. That is what it means to follow Jesus. That is the sacrifice. We give up our false sense of self righteousness and desire to repay evil with evil because as the verses from Romans teach us, vengeance is the Lord's. God says that He will repay the wrongs that have been perpetrated against us. He sees your pain, He knows your suffering. How much so?

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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