I was so shocked I almost didn’t know what to say. But the Lord took over. In His amazing mercy, in His awesome grace, He gave me the words. I was on the telephone with a dear friend I had known for years and had just found out she and another beloved friend had betrayed me in an excruciatingly painful way, had been dishonest with me, had lied to me, had withheld something from me, and to make matters that much harder, had apparently prayed together and had been deceived by Satan into believing they had heard from God and that their betrayal had been justified by God almighty. I am a woman of many words at the best of times, and at the worst of times, but this time the Lord took control of my mouth. I spoke only a few sentences, and then told her I needed to get off the telephone and go pray. Not only had my two beloved friends betrayed me terribly, but the news I had discovered related to their betrayal was extremely painful in and of itself. How would I go forward? What would my next hours and days look like? How are we supposed to respond when those we love the most betray us? Have you been betrayed? Are you wondering what to do? Here are five steps I took automatically by God’s grace and in His strength alone.
1. I surrendered myself to the Lord so that His Spirit would lead me through what I would now go through. I placed my trust in Him to take care of me and give me strength, comfort, wisdom, directions, etc.
2. I chose love and forgiveness in obedience to God and His Word.
3. I reached out to several friends and received their love, encouragement, and prayers.
4. I dug deep, deep, deep into God’s Word which I study daily anyway and searched hard and passionately and hungrily for the scriptures God would give me to stand upon through what I would walk through.
5. I sought the Lord, I sought the Lord, I sought the Lord, I drew close to Him, close to Him, closer to Him, I cried out to Him in my heart, I shed tears as I placed my head on His shoulders, I prayed to Him, I listened to Him, I kept my heart wide open to Him, I heard Him tell me He wanted to comfort me, and I let in His love, I let in His mercy, I let in His comfort, I let in His healing, and I followed His lead.
My friend, I am not through this. I am in it. Right in the middle of it. The betrayal just happened, and I just learned of it, and what I share with you is from a raw heart, a heart freshly wounded, but a heart that is healing in Jesus’ loving hands, a mind that is being filled with God’s wisdom, and a life that is closer to the Lord than ever before, a heart that is filled with love and mercy for the friends that betrayed me.
What does the Lord want going forth with these friendships? I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. I only know this.
I belong to Jesus, my Lord, my Savior, my healer, my beloved. I am to live by faith in Him, and live in His love, and breathe in His love, and breathe out His love, and live in His mercy, and pour out His mercy, and I, my friend, even in the fire of this trial, in this fiery trial, I have a peace unimaginable, a love unfathomable that fills me, no anger, no bitterness, no vengeance, just love.
His love. His love pours into me. His love pours through me.
Why would I write this now? Before time has passed? Before I am long past this? Why would I write this message from the trenches of life, from the heat of the fire of this trial?
For two reasons.
Because the Lord placed this message on my heart.
Because I believe someone reading this, or maybe many people, need to hear of the love, the peace, the hope, and the joy we can experience even in the midst of betrayal.
The peace of Christ.
The peace that comes in trusting the Lord that even in the fiery trials of life, when we surrender to Him utterly, and to God’s Word, and live by His commands, like love, like forgiveness, like mercy, like letting Him be our comforter, is such a precious peace. Is a peace that comes when no matter what we face, we place our faith in Jesus. We place our trust in Him. We place our very hearts, and our very lives, in the Lord’s blessed heavenly everlasting loving arms.
Sadness, yes. Grief, of course.
But oh, the rejoicing that in spite of it all, the rejoicing we can have in turning our focus, turning our attention, and giving our hearts, to the Lord. To Jesus. To Christ Jesus, Lord forever! Lord forevermore! Amen!
Drawing ever closer to Him, ever closer to Him. Rejoicing because no matter our hurts, no matter our hardships, no matter our trials, little or so big we can’t even describe them, when we have placed our faith in Jesus, and continue to place our faith in Jesus, and our trust is in Him, and our love is for Him, and our obedience is to Him, we can draw ever closer to Him.
To Him. To Jesus.
Betrayed by friends, yes. Life has its trials, doesn’t it?
But the Lord is drawing me to Himself. Ever closer.
To my Jesus. And the sweetness, the beauty, the magnificence, of being in God’s presence, of knowing His love, of knowing His comfort, of knowing His hope, of knowing His peace, of knowing His nearness, He draws me ever closer to Himself.
He reminds me my mind doesn’t need to be consumed with betrayal, and with the trials of this life.
My mind, and my heart, and my life, and my purpose, can be consumed with Christ.
Oh, such love! Such rejoicing!
The Lord turned my attention to Himself. And turns me to Himself. Leading me. Leading me closer. Nearer. Ever closer.
If you’re going through hurts, and hardships, maybe betrayal, maybe something else, one fiery trial, or another, or a few of them all together, come to the Lord, come to Him.
Place your trust in Him. Your heart in His hands. Your life in His hands. Your faith in Him. Your love for Him. Your obedience to Him. Your service to Him. Your worship for Him. Your praise to Him. Your honor to Him. Run to Him, run to Him, run to Him!
And know His love.
Turn away from the pain. Away from sin. Away from their sin. And from your sin.
To Jesus, come running!
Come to the Lord, oh come!