“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you”. 1 Peter 5:7
In life our experiences tend to mold and shape us, whether good or bad. Experiences ranging from our youth to adulthood incorporate the positive memories such as the excitement of the first day of school, graduation from college, starting a career, getting married and starting a family. In contrast however, life tends to throw a curveball and those experiences that were not so joyful yield life-altering events such as abuse, violence, unexpected loss of family members, and broken relationships. Ultimately, these experiences can have lasting effects on who we may or may not become. However, one thing I know is that finding God in the midst of your challenges and making Him your Lord and Savior has kept me from self-destruction.
The Merriam-Webster’s definition of betrayal is, “the act of betraying someone or something or the fact of being betrayed; the violation of a person’s trust or confidence, of a moral standard; or the revelation of something hidden or secret.” Luke 21:16 reads, “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death”. In life it is inevitable that we will all encounter a sense of betrayal in one form or another. It is then that we must use that unfortunate circumstance in order to grow and become stronger, wiser and better! Okay now I hear you saying: How is that? You do not know what I have been through! Absolutely correct! I do not know the intricate details of your trials and tribulations, but I do know God has our back and His word is true and will never ever go void! The Bible reminds us that God does not turn a blind eye to betrayal, but then again it is crucial that we leave the consequences for those who have betrayed us to God and God alone! “Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15.
Furthermore, the Merriam-Webster’s definition of abandonment is, “the act of abandoning something or someone; the state of being abandoned; to desert; to forsake by means to leave without intending to return; or to leave something or someone helpless without protection.” Psalm 27:10 reads, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up”. As aforementioned, it is an inescapable ordeal that we will face abandonment in our life’s journey, but this also has justification to its means for our future. Every one of us has gone through times where it has felt like someone or something has abandoned us. I can personally attest to this notion that at pivotal points in our life we have felt like even God Himself has abandoned us. Nevertheless, I can assure you that the latter unequivocally is not the case even when man or intangible things abandon us; God will not! For God says, “…I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE” Hebrews 13:5. But even if that is not enough to convince you, God also said for us to “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6. Hear me clearly, you will never have to worry or doubt about being alone ever again.
Carnally in the world’s view and in synchronized rhythm, betrayal and abandonment can be visualized as the unthinkable. However, spiritually, when you have a relationship with God, it only brings forth ministry and testimony to reach and help another soul overcome to become. Galatians 6:9 reads “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not”. Therefore, in retrospect, every trial, misstep, and idiosyncrasy that I have encountered through the years has and continues to be a stepping stone to my divine destiny in God. When you think about it, isn’t that the reason God gives us grace and mercy every day? So, let us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and refuse to be defeated because we are who God says we are! “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9.
God saw more in me than I could ever see in myself when I faced experiences which conveyed a sense of betrayal and abandonment. He strengthened and cared for me when I was at my weakest. He carried me through and showed me just how much He loved me until I had enough strength to stand up in Him with confidence knowing that I am yet worthy beyond anything I may face in my life’s journey. You may be asking yourself can I really forgive those who have wronged me, and can I forgive myself for the things I may be ashamed of and fearful of what others may think of me? Yes, I can forgive, and I am forgiven! “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” John 8:36.
Understandably, being betrayed or abandoned by a friend or a family member is one of the worst feelings ever. Sometimes the emotional pain is far worse than the physical pain. The question is, how do we handle it? The first thing our flesh wants to do is to lash out and seek revenge. If not physically, then in our minds. However, we must be still and forgive, not only them, but ourselves as well. Just look at how much God forgives us daily! We must take our minds off the situation and put our focus on Christ. This mindset is imperative because if we keep on thinking about the situation, then it will only manifest itself and build up anger. We must give all our problems to the Lord. He will calm the storm within us. We must follow the example of Christ who was also betrayed. “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks; he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-24.
So, let us begin the process of actively forgiving others and ourselves, rest upon God, and ask Him to help us love our enemies and to remove any bitterness and anger lurking in our hearts. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” Matthew 5:44. Therefore, recognize and know that God will use all the difficult things we face in life for His great purpose! Just like Joseph said when he was betrayed and abandoned by his brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” Genesis 50:20. For all that you have gone through, look at what God has ordained you to be – a Reach Leader to reach others for Him! What a Mighty God we serve!
Henceforth, realize that when you set your mind on Christ there is an amazing feeling of peace and love that He will provide. Now, go find a quiet place, cry out to God, allow God to help your pain and hurt, and pray for your betrayer just like Christ prayed for His enemies. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
BY SANDRA PLEASANTS