Now that I am on the Back 9….I am convinced that if you are living and breathing then, at some point in your life, you will have a “Judas” in your life, someone who will betray you. It can be as severe as a false accusation that lands you in prison to a broken confidence that you share. It could be someone you thought you could count on only to realize that you can’t. Regardless, betrayal is something we ALL experience. At some point we have to decide what we are going to do with the act of betrayal or the betrayer.
If you study the Bible and Jesus’ life on earth…as fully man but yet fully God…you find that Judas was hand selected to carry out God’s plan. Judas served a purpose in Jesus’ life. Judas was no mistake. Judas’ role was critical to the death and resurrection of Christ. We all want friends like John who love us just as John loved Jesus…or like Peter who is quick to defend us…like he did Jesus…even though he denied Him as well. But betrayers can serve a role in our lives even though betrayal comes with pain…..often times severe pain.
We have to look at betrayal from this perspective: it was allowed…even when it was a result of someone’s sin against us. We have to choose to put on the glasses of “HOW is God going to use it in our lives?” We can all thank God for our friends and family and their support, but we have to remember that it is often my/your/our relationship with that mysterious friend of malice and strife, weakness and defective behavior, that God can use as a CATALYST for greatness in our lives.
When we take the acts of betrayal and choose to look for God and His hand in our lives, it is much easier to forgive. It is much easier to forgive the actions of men when you know and are seeking the purposes of God in your life. Not only should we refuse to fear their actions, we should release the betrayer as well.
It has taken me most of my life to understand that God can bless you through the worst of relationships that seem painful and negative. God, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, KNOWs HOW to make adversity feed destiny into our lives. God can and will bless you through the worst of relationships. WE have to look to Jesus and also model His actions. HE sat at the table with Judas and John. The challenge for us is to sit at the table with both the “Judas” and the “John” in our lives and not treat one any different than the other, even though we are distinctly aware of each one’s identity and agenda.
Pain and hurt from others is real. WE are absolutely in denial if we think we have gone through life without hurting anyone. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, WE HAVE caused pain. That is a great place to start…realizing….at some point I/you/we have been the “Judas”…however small it may be. Maybe it has been in our thoughts only.
We can start today looking for God in the pain. Looking at what HE WANTS OUR ACTIONS TO BE….
It was a revelation to me six years ago to see the need to “Drop my hands in the lives of others!” God knew my heart and my intentions had the “greater good of others” in mind. But I had to truly learn and apply on a daily basis the fact that I am only going to be held accountable for my actions….”my shots in life”. I am responsible for me. My rewards in heaven are based on what I do…How I forgive….How I treat…How I respond…How I think…because that is truly what I can control, not others.
It takes both my eyes and ears tuned into Jesus to sit at the table and treat John and Judas the same. I am unable to do it in my strength. It also takes the leading of the Holy Spirit and the conviction of sin in my life to not be a “Judas” but to be a John. I am still a work in progress but I am making progress.
If you want to make progress in your life in the area of being able to accept and allow God to work all things for your good, read and apply the passage that David wrote in Psalm 119:65-72.
“Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I trust your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but NOW I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was GOOD for ME to be AFFLICTED so that I might LEARN your decrees. THE LAW from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” [emphasis mine].
I cannot stop the pain of others in my life or in yours. I can go to my BFF (Yes, God is the ultimate best friend) and encourage you to do so. God is not just your BFF, He is the BDF, “best doctor forever”. He is the BGGF, “best gift giver forever” and the BEF, the “best example forever”.
He doesn’t just turn water into wine, He can take the “bitter water of betrayal” today and “make it sweet tasting in our lives.” WE only have to choose to see it.