Overcoming Betrayal

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

It is interesting to me that during the Passover meal, which some of us know as the Last Supper, Jesus talked to the disciples regarding the fact that they might "betray" Him.

 

Not knowing, as Jesus did, that Judas was the one there among them that would betray Christ, they all began to question Jesus regarding the betrayal. I believe they were doing more then simply questioning Jesus. I believe that deep inside of them they were wondering to themselves, "Will I be the one to betray the Master?"

 

A short time later, Jesus predicted Peter's betrayal. Peter loved the Lord with all his heart and all his soul, but sure enough when the Lord was taken away to be crucified, Peter denied Him.

 

In Luke 22:54-62 we read this:

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

   “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Peter was truly broken hearted about betraying Jesus, but He did it anyway and that broke his heart.

 

There are times in each of our lives where we do the same. Maybe we deny what we know by backsliding and participating in things we know we should not do. Later we come to our senses, repent and turn away from those things.

 

During my time of ministering to people I have heard more then once the following statement, "God won't forgive me, I have sinned in ways that are not going to be forgiven!"

 

Let me just say here and now that, according to the Word, there is not one sin that God will not forgive, when we humbly come to Him and confess and repent and turn away from the sin.

 

Satan likes to put it into our heads that our sin is the one sin that God cannot forgive and so we might as well give up and continue to do as we please, since we are going to hell anyway. When we stand back and look at this realistically we know that this is a lie. The bible is full of scriptures regarding God's forgiveness!

 

We get it into our heads that things happen in our lives that take God by surprise. This is just not true. God has known us as "his chosen people" prior to the first breath we ever took on earth. God knows, as He did with Peter, where our weaknesses are and where and when we will fall into temptation.

 

In Luke 22:31-32 we have proof of this when we read:

 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus knew that Satan would try each of them. Jesus also knows that Satan will try all of us. But, the scriptures above prove that Jesus also knew that Peter would turn back to Him! Jesus told him that when he did so, he should strengthen his brothers.

 

We make a mistake when someone we know, a Christian, falls and we judge him or her and turn away from them. All of us, you and me, are capable of falling from time to time. Most of us have or will! During times of weakness for our brothers and sister we should try and strengthen them, not shun them with a "holier then thou" attitude.

 

No Christian is perfect. We were born with sinful natures and we are all capable of falling! Only God is perfect. Only God never sins! None of us have "reached" perfection yet.

 

As a minister I have to be able to not take sides in situations that occur between two Christians. Sometimes it is harder then others not to do that. Nevertheless, no one is hopeless. In a situation with disagreement between brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to simply let God be God. We need to minister to both people, and then let the Holy Spirit convict the guilty party.

 

In John 16:13 we read the following:

 

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth."

 

I think God wants us to forgive the offending party in a situation, as much as He wants us to pray with the victim. Jesus doesn't take sides in arguments against His children and neither should we.

 

Our goal, as set forth by Christ's example, should be forgiveness of all who ask for it!

 

At times we betray Christ, and we betray other Christians as well. We are human and that is what we do. However, God is not shocked or surprised and we should not be either.

 

It is through mistakes we learn, as Peter did. I tell you we would all get a lot further in this world if we practiced forgiveness to those who betray us, and leave the revenge to the Lord.

 

Romans 12:19 tells us:

"Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the LORD.

 

Yet sometimes we Christians are the ones who seek revenge the most when we are wronged. God has shown me that we then put ourselves in as much trouble as the person who betrayed us, in our minds, is in!

 

People betrayed Christ, and people will betray us. God forgave and restored these people to a right relationship with Him! We need to be able to let things go and leave betrayers to the Lord.

 

Betrayal is always painful. It is especially painful when it comes from the hands of someone we knew as a close friend! As in all we experience, Jesus has "been there." He also sees past the betrayal to the other side.

 

There are two outcomes of betrayal for the one who betrays. In the case of Judas, he felt so guilty he could not live with himself and he committed suicide. The other outcome, the mature one, is that the betrayer comes back to his or her senses and is restored to relationship with the Lord through confession and repentance.

 

God's forgiveness of the Christian is never-ending. He waits patiently for us to go Him humbly and then He picks us up and hugs us and restores us to relationship with Him.

 

If today, you have been hurtfully betrayed give it to God. Don't try and figure it out, just release it and God will come and comfort you!

 

If you have betrayed God or a friend, it is never too late to ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness doesn't mean you have to go back into the relationship. It simply means that you know that you shouldn't of hurt the person, and you acknowledge that and ask for forgiveness. Don't justify what you did. The person doesn't want to hear that. Just simply say, "I am sorry I hurt you!"

 

This is the week of God's Son being resurrected from the dead. Some of us need to be resurrected ourselves from situations that sin has put us in! If we have betrayed God through our actions our words, today is the day we can put that in the past and go forward to a higher level with God. As He did with Peter, He will do with us!

 

Father, you know the pain of betrayal. You also know that none of us are hopeless cases. We all sin, even though we know better, from time to time. We come humbly to You today and ask you to forgive the past and restore us to a right relationship with You. In Your Name, the Name above all names we pray. Amen and Amen

 

© Cathie Miller 2011 

 

For We Know That Nothing...No Thing..  is impossible with God