Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 – April 21 – When Betrayal Hurts Most

Study from God’s Word Psalms 35, 41, 43, 46, and 55 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 55: 12 – 14 … NIV 12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.

My Journal for Today: Reading the grieving words of David in today’s highlight passage from Psalm 55, this one cannot help but reflect on how much, as a sinner in my past, I betrayed my Savior. When I stood on the very rocks last year in Jerusalem where archeologists have documented the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, I wept; because in that moment, I realized that it was my sins of betrayal which nailed my LORD to that tree. And when my Lord looked into the eyes of those Roman Soldiers, it would be easier for Him to accept His degradation and death from Romans who hated the Jews. But it’s not difficult for me to speculate about how Jesus’ mind, as He was being nailed to the cross, might have wandered to the fateful kiss of Judas, who had betrayed Him for 30 measly pieces of silver? Or what about Christ’s anguish over Peter, who had denied Him thrice; or about His knowing that the other Apostles, whom He had been discipling for three years, had cut and ran when Jesus was captured for the crucifixion?

Have you ever been betrayed by someone whom you loved and trusted? Perhaps you were the betrayer. Smith reminded his readers, like me today, about Julius Caesar being blinded-sided by one whom he loved and had trusted, his famous companion, Brutus. And as he was being stabbed to death by the conspirators, looking into the eyes of Brutus, we have the famous line from the play, “Et tu, Brute!” And these were the words of someone who had been betrayed by a beloved one whom Caesar had trusted implicitly.

So many times in the ministry God has called me to lead, I hear the story from men who’ve chosen to get into the pits of habitual or recurring sexual sin; and how they’ve come to hate and repent of what they did to betray their wives by stealing off and viewing porn or by having an affair or by going off and being with prostitutes. And my wife, in her ministry to the wives of these very same men, hears these women tell their stories of broken trust and shattered marital dreams when they learn of their husband’s betrayal.

But I’m here to give witness and testimony to the truth that, even in these latter, very dire, scenarios where the closest of relationships are shattered to pieces by mistrust and betrayal, God can heal, restore, and renew. And it’s all because Jesus died on that cross so that sinners, who betrayed Him, like me, can be forgiven. It’s so wondrous that I can become a repentant sinner, … one who can be transformed by the same Spirit power which raised our Lord from His grave to be restored to His throne of grace. My wife and I have experienced the renewing and empowering grace which allowed her to forgive me and enabled me to be transformed to the promise-keeping husband she desired when we were married, … a husband she now has and can trust. Yes, it was excruciating for her and difficult for me; but we’ve seen it happened time after time in the lives of others who have surrendered their wills to a Lord, Who loves them and will give them the power to walk into the future in spite of the worst of betrayals in the past.

God is able and He will provide healing; but only if and when one, like His betrayer friend, Peter, is willing to receive Christ’s wondrous healing and enabling grace and be changed forever by Christ, as LORD. Dr. Smith asks the provocative question today, ”I I constantly betray God in little ways, might a day come when I inflict the unkindest cut of all?” … >>> You’re going to have to answer that one for yourself, my beloved! I have; and I can only pray that my surrender and walk with Christ will deepen my commitment to Him to the point I will not be one who will betray Him again the way I did in my past.

My Prayer for Today: LORD, help me to stay the course as Your trusted servant and friend. Oh how I see to hear You say in glory, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” Amen

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